Europe claim historic first Solheim Cup success on American soil
Matthew secures half to win trophy in Colorado on dramatic last day that saw visitors triumph 18-10
Caroline Hedwall of Europe celebrates with her caddie after her birdie putt on the 18th green in the singles matches to retain the 2013 Solheim Cup in Parker, Colorado. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters
On a dramatic final day in Colorado, play was suspended for an hour with Europe just one point away from retaining the trophy because of the threat of lightning.
When play resumed, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall sank a birdie putt on the 18th to secure a one-up victory against Michelle Wie which put Europe 14-7 ahead, ensuring they kept the trophy they won at Killeen Castle in Co Meath in 2011.
And moments later Matthew claimed a half in her match against Gerina Piller to ensure they won the cup outright.
“I was shaking. My knees were shaking. I knew if I got a half we would win it outright,” said Matthew.
“It beats that. Any time you can celebrate with your 11 team-mates it makes it more exciting, more fun.”
It was 17-year-old Charley Hull – one of six rookies on an unfancied European team – who got the ball rolling on a final day they went into leading 10.5-5.5 after a clean sweep in the Saturday fourballs.
Hull lost the second hole to Paula Creamer, but hit back to lead by three at the turn after a sparkling display, and she never let the advantage slip before securing a 5&4 win for the first of the four points needed.
Hull said: It’s amazing, especially in America, the first time ever.
“It’s been fantastic, so many nice people on the team. They’re not as scary as they look on TV. It’s awesome. I’m loving life.”
Carlota Ciganda then completed a comfortable 4&2 victory over Morgan Pressel, giving her a third point in three games this weekend, before Brittany Lang got America’s first win of the day on the board against another Spaniard, Azahara Munoz.
The horn sounded soon after to take the players off course, but there was no let-up from the women in blue once they came back out.
Hedwall’s defeat of Wie sealed the crucial point, but it was doubly historic as the Swede became the first player ever to win all five of her games in a single Solheim Cup.
“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “I’m shaking. It’s unbelievable. This is what you practise for to be part of this moment. It’s unbelievable.”
Jodi Ewart Shadoff, another of Europe’s impressive rookies, was a 3&2 winner over Brittany Lincicome.