/ Golf

Catriona Matthew seals historic Solheim Cup win for Europe

Updated: Monday, 19 Aug 2013 14:11 | Comments

Paula Creamer of the United States (right) congratulates Catriona Matthew of Scotland (left)
Paula Creamer of the United States (right) congratulates Catriona Matthew of Scotland (left)

Scotland's Catriona Matthew made history as she secured the half Europe needed to win the Solheim Cup on American soil for the first time with an emphatic 18-10 victory in Colorado.

Lotte Neumann's young and unfancied team began the singles needing just four points for victory and they only thing which threatened to stop them on another day of European dominance was the weather, which saw play suspended for an hour with the visitors on the brink.

When play resumed, Sweden's Caroline Hedwall sank a birdie putt on the 18th to secure a one-up victory against the United States' Michelle Wie which put Europe 14-7 ahead, ensuring they kept the trophy they won in Ireland 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," Matthew, who won the Open in 2009, told Sky Sports 1.

"It beats that. Any time you can celebrate with your 11 team-mates it makes it more exciting, more fun."

"Any time you can celebrate with your 11 team-mates it makes it more exciting, more fun" - Catriona Matthew

Though Matthew and Hedwall - who became the first player in Solheim Cup history to win five out of five matches - were to the fore, it was the performance of Europe's six rookies which caught the eye.

And it was one of them - English 17-year-old Charley Hull - 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 on her way to 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."

Europe edged closer when Anna Nordqvist drained a birdie putt on 17 - the hole where 24 hours earlier she had achieved the Solheim Cup's first ever ace - to take a half from her match with world number two Stacy Lewis.

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 the 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 and a moment of personal history with her fifth win.

"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."

Suzann Pettersen's match with Lizette Salas finished all square, as did Jessica Korda v Giulia Sergas, while Lexi Thompson got some rare red on the board with a 4&3 win over Caroline Masson.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff, another of Europe's impressive rookies, was a 3&2 winner over Brittany Lincicome.

"I can't even put it into words. This is absolutely unreal," Yorkshire's Ewart Shadoff told Sky Sports 1. The sort of pressure you feel this week, you can't really compare it to anything."

Beatriz Recari beat Angela Stanford 2&1, and when Karine Icher shook hands with Cristie Kerr for half a point apiece in the final match more than an hour after the contest had been decided, Europe's crushing victory margin was confirmed as eight points.

Neumann congratulated her team, including vice captains Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch.

"It's a fantastic feeling," she said. "I can't tell you how proud I am. It was teamwork this week. Everyone has done something great, including Annika and Carin. Everybody's been fantastic."

United States captain Meg Mallon conceded her team had been well beaten.

"We really got our butts kicked this week," she said. "Hats off to the Europeans. They showed no fear. They made so many putts and played so great."

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