Europe closing in on historic success in Solheim Cup
Play suspended by threat of lightning with Europe on brink of victory, leading 13-7
Charley Hull of England and Europe plays her second shot on the first hole of the singles competition yesterday in Colorado. Photograph: Getty
Europe were forced to wait for Solheim Cup glory as play was suspended with just one point required to retain the trophy in Colorado.
Wins from 17-year-old Charley Hull and Carlota Ciganda, as well as a half for Anna Nordqvist, took Europe’s total to 13 just one short of the total they need to retain the cup - before a threat of lightning brought the players off the course.
Brittany Lang beat Azahara Munoz for the United States’ first win of the day before the horn sounded with the hosts 13-7 down, but with Europe up in three of the remaining eight matches and all square in two, it seemed to be merely delaying the inevitable.
It was Hull who got Europe rolling on the final day as they looked for a first Solheim Cup win on American soil. Hull lost the second hole to Paula Creamer, but the 17-year-old hit back to lead by three at the turn after a sparkling display.
A clearly rattled Creamer missed a short putt at the 11th to fall four behind and that became five with six to play, though the American holed out of a bunker at the 13th to prolong the match.
Hull, though, also birdied the hole to go dormie five and when Creamer missed a long putt at the next, Hull had a 5&4 win to record the first of the four points needed.
Hull told Sky Sports 1: “It was good, I played good today. I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I wasn’t really thinking what she was doing so much, I was just playing my own game.
“That (13th) hole was great, she hit it in the bunker, I hit it within three feet and she got the bunker shot. That’s a great memory I’ll always have.”
Europe edged closer when Nordqvist drained a birdie putt on 17 - the hole where yesterday she achieved the Solheim Cup’s first ever ace - to take a half from her match with Stacy Lewis.
Ciganda then completed a comfortable 4&2 victory over Morgan Pressel, giving her a third point in three games this weekend, before Lang got America’s first win of the day on the board against another Spaniard Munoz.
Leading 10.5-5.5 at the start of the day, Europe needed four points to win the trophy outright or three and a half to retain it.
Europe were leading the final three matches when play was suspended - Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Beatriz Recari and Karine Icher all two up - while Caroline Hedwall and Suzann Pettersen were all square against Michelle Wie and Lizette Salas respectively.
But with a delay of at least an hour expected, Europe were left with a nervy wait.