Following Saturday’s play, Team USA held a 10.5-5.5 lead over Team Europe – the first time holding the advantage since 1998.
Even while needing only 3.5 points to retain the Cup and four points to win outright, Team USA captain Julie Inkster noted that it would not be easy.
“We played well (Saturday). We played probably better than well; we played amazing,” Inkster said.
“But as you know, closing it out is the toughest thing to do. And we need one more great day of golf.”
In a singles session that featured close matches throughout, the eventual five-point margin of victory was the USA’s largest win since 1996.
The winning putt came courtesy of California native Lizette Salas, whose 4-foot par putt at No. 18 gave her a 1-up win over Jodi Ewart Shadoff and secured the 14.5 points necessary for the USA to win and retain possession of the Cup.
“This is what I work for all year,” Salas, a three-time Solheim Cup veteran, said.
“Today’s probably the best golf I’ve played all year. To do that in front of my home crowd and to wear the red, white and blue is such an honor. The fact that I made the last putt to secure it is undescribable. I’m still shaking, and just glad I got it done for Team USA.”
Big win gives Inkster historic win over Sorenstam
The win pulled Inkster even with former captain Judy Rankin as the only women for either side to claim two Solheim Cup titles.
Inskster led the USA to victory in Germany in 2015.
“I’m just proud of my team,” Inkster said.
“The Europeans fought hard today. They made it really close. I really haven’t been nervous all week. But today I was a little bit nervous. So it’s just an honor to captain this team and I’m really proud of the girls.”
Team Europe captain Annika Sorenstam praised the Americans on their dominating performance while recognizing her squad’s relentless play to stay competitive.
“We just got outplayed, there’s no doubt about it,” Sorenstam said.
“I’m so proud how hard they fought. And it’s not easy coming out here on a Sunday with the team so far behind. But I’m proud of them. They’re out there fighting every single match, every single point. What can I say? Just congratulate the U.S.A. because they played some awesome golf.”
Kerr becomes U.S. all-time points leader
Cristie Kerr led Team USA in points, going 3-0-1 to earn 3.5 points and raise her all-time points tally to 21 – the most by any U.S. player in Solheim Cup history.
Catriona Matthew earned 3 points for Europe and has now earned 22 points in her European Team career.
Matthew is now third on the all-time points list and Kerr is fourth, behind Laura Davies (25) and Sorenstam (24).
Kerr and Matthew also moved up the all-time match victories list, with both players now at 18 career match wins, behind only the 22 apiece for Davies and Sorenstam.
“You play for the person in front of you, you play for the person behind you,” Kerr said.
“And it is not about your individual records. It’s for the team. And I mean, it’s amazing how hard you can pull for each other when you have that mentality.”
Notables: The United States successfully defended the Solheim Cup for the fifth time since the event started in 1990…Every USA player won at least one match in the Solheim Cup. Cristie Kerr had the best American record at 3-0-1…United States rookies finished with a 6-3-1 record (Danielle Kang, 3-1-0; Austin Ernst, 2-2-0; Angel Yin, 1-0-1)…European rookies finished with a 3-10-0 record (Georgia Hall, 2-3-0; Madelene Sagstrom, 1-2-0; Emily Pedersen, 0-3-0; Florentyna Parker, 0-2-0)…Twenty-four of the 28 matches ended on the closing holes, which saw the Americans win 12 of them…Matches ended on the following holes: Hole 13 – 1; Hole 15 – 3; Hole 16 – 6; Hole 17 – 8; Hole 18 – 10…Matches won: United States – 15; Europe – 10; Halved – 3
Sunday Singles results
Anna Nordqvist (EUR) halved with Lexi Thompson (USA)
Paula Creamer (USA) def. Georgia Hall (EUR), 1 up
Cristie Kerr (USA) def. Mel Reid (EUR), 2 and 1
Catriona Matthew (EUR) def. Stacy Lewis (USA), 1 up
Karine Icher (EUR) halved with Angel Yin (USA)
Caroline Masson (EUR) def. Michelle Wie (USA), 4 and 2
Lizette Salas (USA) def. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (EUR), 1 up
Charley Hull (EUR) def. Brittany Lang (USA), 1 up
Carlota Ciganda (EUR) def. Brittany Lincicome (USA), 4 and 3
Gerina Piller (USA) def. Florentyna Parker (EUR), 4 and 2
Madelene Sagstrom (EUR) def. Austin Ernst (USA), 3 and 2
Danielle Kang (USA) def. Emily Pedersen (EUR), 3 and 1