Europe win in US to retain Solheim Cup

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Team Europe have retained the Solheim Cup with just their second-ever win on United States soil - securing a 15-13 success.

Matilda Castren sank a 10-foot putt on the last hole to edge her match against Lizette Salas and take Europe to their target of 14 points with three matches still to complete.

Europe won back-to-back Cup victories for just the second time in the 31-year history of the biennial showdown.

"It's just crazy, crazy... It's just such an amazing feeling, and so proud to be part of this team," the 26-year-old Castren who became eligible to make the team only after winning an event in her native Finland in July.

Two years after needing a dramatic 7-foot putt by Suzann Pettersen to slip by the Americans at Gleneagles, the final putt this time around was more of an exclamation point on three days of steady and occasionally spectacular play by the visitors.

When Emily Pedersen rolled in a birdie putt on the 18th to close out Danielle Kang, the Europeans poured onto the green in celebration, hoisting captain Catriona Matthew on their shoulders while shouting the chorus to "Sweet Caroline."

Matthew, who also led the team to victory on home soil in 2019, paid tribute to her players.

"Just an amazing team actually. They came out here and performed," she said.

"I'm kind of lost for words actually at the moment."

Matthew, who secured the winning point in Europe's previous win in America in 2013, added: "I think it's even sweeter as a captain actually."

Good times have never seemed so good for Europe, who have now captured four of the past six editions.

The Europeans built a 9-7 lead over the weekend and quickly put on the pressure Monday, snuffing out any legitimate hopes of a US comeback.

Leona Maguire, the first Irishwoman to appear in the Solheim Cup, capped off a brilliant 4-0-1 debut by making three birdies and an eagle on the front nine to top Jennifer Kupcho 5-and-4 in the third match out and give Europe the first of the five points they needed.

The Americans briefly made a push, turning the scoreboard into a sea of red late in the afternoon, but they had to be content with a share of the spoils in the final-day's 12 singles.

Europe led from start to finish, seizing a 3-point advantage after the opening alternate-shot session on Saturday morning and never let go.

Not even a highly partisan crowd that included two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson could give the US the energy they needed to overturn the deficit while home captain Pat Hurst remained confident heading into singles, saying her "stacked" team had enough talent and experience to mount a comeback.

While blowouts were rare - 21 of the 28 matches reached at least the 17th green and 16 of 28 went the full 18 holes - when things got tight, the Europeans rarely faltered.

with Reuters

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