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'This is why I picked you': Suzann Petterson reveals Solheim Cup captain's inspiring message ahead of stunning winning putt at Gleneagles

Suzann Pettersen celebrates her winning putt.
Suzann Pettersen celebrates her winning putt.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

The Solheim Cup delivered one of the all-time great golfing moments on Sunday afternoon when Europe roared back from being all-but beaten to celebrating on the 18th green within the space of around 30 minutes.

When Anne van Dam and Charley Hull both suffered disappointment round the tricky 18th green, Hull's chipping difficulties allowing Megan Khang to rescue a half and van Dam's missed putt giving Lizette Salas a full point, the USA were just half a point away from retaining their trophy with a 14-14 draw.

Three matches remained on the course.

Anna Nordqvist was making light work of Morgan Pressel with a four and three win in the final match but up ahead, both Suzann Petterson and Bronte Law were being held at all square.

It's in these moments that heroes are made.

So it was, first for 24-year-old Law, who sunk a 20-foot putt for birdie to go one up on Ally McDonald through 16.

The roar that erupted was to ignite a box office finish at Gleneagles.

When Law went on to close out victory with a two-putt par on 17, it was over to Pettersen.

The Norwegian has made only four starts since November 2017 as she gave birth to her son in August last year and her selection as one of captain Catriona Matthew's picks was widely questioned.

But there was nobody criticising the choice when the 38-year-old nervelessly rolled in a 10-footer to win the Solheim Cup, completing an astonishing comeback after spinning an eye-catching 89-yard pitch off the slope towards the hole.

Pettersen revealed that, walking up to the 18th green, she knew it could be 'the moment' when Matthew approached her.

"This is why I picked you," the captain told her moments before Pettersen saw out that one up win over Marina Alex.

"I had faith in her all the time," Matthew said afterwards as Pettersen proved why that trust was well-placed. "We knew it was coming down to her game and it shows what a champion she is that she could steel herself and hole that putt.

"We thought a draw might be a good result but we knew when we put the pairings out that the last three games with be crucial, with the experience of Anna (Nordqvist) and Suzann and then Bronte Law pulling it out was just fantastic. Unbelievable. There has never been a better moment."

An emotional Pettersen, who had her son Herman in her arms as the 18th green was flooded with team-mates, added: "In your wildest dream, I never thought I was going to do this again.

"I didn't really feel that much pressure. I knew my team-mates wanted me on the team and that's the most important thing. I thought I proved my right on the team.

"You just have to grab the moment, trust what you do, trust you are good enough and this is a fantastic win for the team."

Such was the nature of the tight finish, Pettersen's opponent Alex had putts to retain the trophy on both the 17th and 18th greens. Her captain Julie Inkster was full of praise for the opposition.

"We saw a lot of great matches out there. But you know what, they just played a little better than us," she said.

"But as you know that's the way it goes in golf.

"We had a great time. We had six rookies out there that played great. I think they all got at least a point or half a point.

"And I couldn't ask any more of these girls, the way they grinded during that weather yesterday.

"Suzann made a great putt and you know, the Solheim Cup doesn't come down to that putt, but she made it today."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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