Solheim Cup: 5 reasons Europe conquered Colorado in 2013
The beauty of this record-breaking victory, by a crushing 18-10 margin, was that it wasn’t even that flattering. Europe had never won away previously (and the Americans have only managed it twice) but they were stronger throughout.
Everybody contributed something, the rookies played fearlessly and new pairings were sent out there. We didn’t just ’hole more putts’, though we did, we dominated in every area.
And gone are the days of over reliance on a handful of superstars. Only one player featured in all five matches and it wasn’t Pettersen or Matthew.
Captain Lotta Neumann kept saying in the build-up the emphasis was on ’fun’, everyone concerned with the European effort certainly had a good time.
Europe won 17 of the matches that went to the last three holes, America just 10.
Anna Nordqvist closed out the Saturday morning foursomes with the first ever ace, Charley Hull hit a similarly brilliant shot when she got inside Lexi Thompson’s tee shot to six feet.
At the closing hole all the birdies came from the Europeans: Matthew and Masson in the foursomes, Ciganda and then Icher in the fourballs and both Sergas and Hedwall, of course, in the Sunday singles.
The story most quoted about Charley Hull on her Solheim debut was when she asked Paula Creamer, who she had just thrashed 5&4, to autograph her ball for a friend.
Equally as charming was arriving on the tee earlier in the day, shaking hands with the American and saying: “You look nice today.”
Europe’s six rookies posted a combined W12-H2-L5 record, the four American debutants 2-4-7. At least half those six should be in Germany this September.
Caroline Hedwall arrived in Colorado with an impressive 2.5 points from her four matches. She then added another five, something that had never been done before.
In Ireland both her two wins were completed by the 14th. Here, she had to play at least 16 holes in all her matches over a course that took a lot of walking. Would she have enough left for the singles?
Her opponent was Michelle Wie and they came to the 18th all square. Hedwall birdied, job done. Quite brilliant.
The considered thinking was that, should the matches be tight, the Americans would take control on Sunday.
In Ireland that didn’t pan out – and it certainly didn’t here. Even with a five-point lead there were still concerns but Europe just pulled away further.
The American superstars were few and far between – only Stacy Lewis was in the world’s top 10, very few were serial winners on tour and a handful were out of form. Not a lot has changed in the past couple of years…