Pettersen’s final act gives win to Europe
GLENEAGLES, Scotland — Suzann Pettersen stood over the final shot of her golfing career, not quite realizing it also was the last shot of the most dramatic Solheim Cup ever played.
Europe’s players had their hands over their mouths, and their captain could barely watch. Blissfully unaware of what was unfolding was 1-year-old Herman, Pettersen’s first child who was also among the thousands around the 18th green at Gleneagles.
The putt was from 7 feet, slightly left to right, and it never looked like missing.
After being mobbed by teammates on the 18th green, Pettersen held Herman in her arms and kissed him. The Europeans had regained the Solheim Cup and one of the stalwarts of women’s golf had her perfect ending.
“This is it. I’m completely done,” said the 38-year-old Pettersen, confirming her sudden decision to retire. “It doesn’t get any better.”
On an afternoon of singles matches that pretty much had everything, Europe secured a 141⁄2-131⁄2 win over the United States to claim the biggest team prize in female golf for the first time since 2013.
The final act, spread over two holes with virtually simultaneous putts, couldn’t have been more thrilling.
Just as Pettersen was addressing her putt at No. 18, U.S. player Ally McDonald slid a putt to the right of the hole at No. 17 and walked up to Bronte Law to concede.
The score changed to 131⁄2-131⁄2 and — without her even realizing — the outcome of the contest hinged on Pettersen.
“I thought Bronte was in behind me on the (18th) fairway,” Pettersen said. “I actually didn’t know that it was THE putt.”
That it was Pettersen who secured the winning point felt apt.
She was a contentious wildcard pick by European captain Catriona Matthew because Pettersen had played just two tournaments — missing the cut in both — since November 2017. She had time off before and after Herman’s birth, and then because of injury.
Pettersen also had a score to settle with the Solheim Cup. In 2015, she refused to concede a short putt to Alison Lee on the 17th hole of a tight fourballs match before the singles on the final day. There were angry exchanges, and it stoked a fire inside the Americans as they fought back from 10-6 down going into the singles to win.