Solheim Cup classics: memorable matches

Routs, revenge and riveting match-ups - the best of the Solheim Cup.

Charlie Lemay's picture
Thu, 17 Sep 2015

If you regard the Ryder Cup as a biennial show of distasteful jingoism, you may want to skip this week's Solheim Cup in Germany.

Over the years we've seen face paint, fancy shoes, and dodgy celebratory dance moves - but most of all we've seen thrilling golf.

We take a look back at some magical matches.

1990 - Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, Florida

The inaugural Solheim Cup was dominated by the Americans, who won the tussle 11.5-4.5.

England's Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas gave Europe hope by winning the first match, but America won the rest of the morning's points by no less than 5&4 as they marched to a momentous victory.

1992 - Dalmahoy Country Club, Scotland

In the second round, Europe gave the States a taste of their own medicine, trouncing their "friends from across the pond" 11.5-6.5.

Europe led 4.5-3.5 going into Sunday's singles helped by two wins from England's Laura Davies.

Davies spearheaded the final-day charge and put Europe's first point on the board, swiftly followed by Helen Alfredsson and Trish Johnson.Two defeats followed for the home side but four wins out of the final five matches gave Europe victory.

2000 - Loch Lomond Golf Club, Scotland

The US had won three Solheim Cups on the bounce, and the spectacle was becoming a worryingly one-sided affair.

But captain's pick and local lass Janice Moodie epitomised the new-found European spirit, winning two foursomes matches on the opening day and a singles match on Sunday.  

Swede Carin Koch also won three contests, and sank the putt to win the Solheim Cup as Pat Bradley's team sealed an historic 14.5-11.5 victory. 

2002 - Interlachen Country Club, Minnesota

USA's winning score of 15.5-12.5 suggests this contest was plain sailing for the Americans, but 2002 is remembered as one of the most exciting Solheim Cups.

In a topsy-turvy match, it was 4-4 after Friday, 7-5 to the States by lunch on Saturday, and 9-7 to Europe going into Sunday's singles.

Among the match-ups, Wendy Ward took on European superstar Annika Sorenstam, who was viewed by many as almost unbeatable.

But the American scrapped her way to half a point, epitomising the USA's never-say-die spirit as they clinched seven of the 12 matches, halving three.

2003 - Barseback Golf and Country Club, Sweden 

The Solheim Cup was played back-to-back because the 2001 Ryder Cup was cancelled following the terrorist attacks on 11 September, 2001.

Superstar Annika Sorenstam was playing on home soil, with 100,000 fans pouring through the gates to see their heroes in action. 

Sorenstam and compatriot Suzann Pettersen sent the watching crowds into a frenzy when they turned their foursomes match around against Kelly Robbins and Laura Diaz by birdieing the final two holes to finish one up.

Europe dominated the competition from start to finish, winning 17.5-10.5.

2005 - Crooked Stick Golf Club, Indiana

The following Solheim Cup was not as one sided, with both teams locked at 8-8 heading into the singles matches.

Boisterous fans gave the hosts the impetus, and they clinched the first five matches on the final day, before Natalie Gulbis added a sixth.

Sorenstam started the fightback, with three more Europeans adding to the tally, before Meg Mallon notched the winning point for the Americans as they triumphed 15.5-12.5.

2011 - Killeen Castle Golf Resort, Ireland

Once again, the US had won three in a row and Europe were hoping to save face in Ireland.

It was another tight contest, with the scores level going into Sunday's singles.

Catriona Matthew went out with a bang, thumping superstar Paula Creamer 6&5 to set the ball rolling for the Europeans. 

With the contest tied at 12.5-12.5, there was a break in play as the heavens opened. 

Captain Alison Nicholas gave a rallying cry to her team during the intermission, and Suzann Pettersen turned her match around against Michelle Wie to triumph one up.

The next match was halved, with Europe capturing the final two points for an epic 15-13 win. 

2013 - Colorado Golf Club, Colorado

At 17, captain's pick Charley Hull became the youngest player to compete in the Solheim Cup.

In the singles, Hull lined up against 2010 US Open winner Paula Creamer, and thrashed her esteemed opponent 5&4.

Europe led 10.5-5.5 going into the singles and romped to an 18-10 triumph on foreign soil, their second win on the bounce.

2015 - Golf Club St Leon-Rot, Germany

Europe will hope to win the Solheim Cup for an unprecedented third time in Germany, a feat the US have achieved twice.

Juli Inkster, who has won a record seven points in the competition, captains the Americans, and will face off against Carin Koch in Europe's corner.

Inkster: no more "rah-rah" stuff

The US will be looking for revenge after they were humiliated in their own back yard two years ago, but they have only won away from home twice in six previous attempts. 

 

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