Pet­tersen’s fi­nal act gives win to Europe

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Steve Dou­glas

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.

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