Stacy Lewis questions whether a playoff is better to determine the Solheim Cup?!

Stacy Lewis is unconvinced the Solheim Cup should be determined by a 14-14 tie, and not a playoff?

Andy Roberts's picture
Sun, 24 Sep 2023
Stacy Lewis questions whether a playoff is better to determine the Solheim Cup?!

United States captain Stacy Lewis believes the Solheim Cup would prove a "better experience for the fans" if there was a playoff to determine the outcome of the Solheim Cup, rather than the defending champions retaining the cup following a 14-14 tie.

That was ultimately how things played out as Spain's Carlota Ciganda delivered the crucial 14th point for the Europeans at Finca Cortesin in Spain on Sunday.

Lewis' Team USA sailed into a 4-0 lead after the Friday morning foursomes session, but Europe fought back valiantly on Saturday to square up the match 8-8 heading into the Sunday Singles.

The session was split 6-6 meaning the match ended in a tie at 14-14 for the first ever time in Solheim Cup history. 

Europe therefore retained the cup as they won the Solheim Cup 15-13 last time out in Scotland in 2021. 

The last time the Ryder Cup ended in a tie was in 1989 at The Belfry when Europe retained the cup. 

It's therefore a very rare outcome.

The 2003 Presidents Cup between the USA and the Internationals ended up in a 17-17 tie in South Africa in 2003, and that saw the lead player on each team in Tiger Woods and Ernie Els compete in a sudden-death playoff to determine the outcome.

However with light fading and Woods and Els unable to be separated after three extra holes, it was determined by the team captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player that the match would end in a tie. 

While 2023 US Solheim Cup captain Lewis is sat on the fence about the subject, she does believe a playoff would prove "better TV" and a "better experience for the fans."

As she reflected on the 14-14 tie and Europe retaining the Solheim Cup, Lewis told reporters in the media centre: 

"I was sitting there at (the) closing ceremonies next to (LPGA commissioner) Mollie [Marcoux Samaan]. We were talking about whether there should be — when it is a tie, should it be a playoff, should it be a retain the cup? I don't know, I mean, it obviously would be better TV. It would be a better experience for the fans if there was a —whether it was a team playoff or something like that, I think that would be pretty cool. But if you want to stick with the history of the event and history of what the men do as well, you probably stick with retaining the cup. I don't know how I feel about that either way, to be honest."

The Solheim Cup will return to even number years, meaning the next contest will be in 2024 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia. 

With Europe defending once again, Team USA will need to earn 14.5 pts in order to regain the cup. 

Unless there is a rule change of course. 

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Should the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup be decided by a playoff if it ends in a tie, or are you happy with the current rule? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels. 

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