Suzann Pettersen bowing out at the perfect time after stunning Solheim Cup win
The Norwegian holed the winning putt for Europe.
Suzann Pettersen announced her retirement from professional golf after justifying her controversial wild card in barely believable style by holing the winning putt in the Solheim Cup.
Pettersen was chosen to make her ninth appearance in the contest by Europe captain Catriona Matthew despite having played just twice since November 2017 before the wild cards were named after taking time off to have her first child.
However, the 38-year-old Norwegian delivered when it mattered by holing from six feet for a winning birdie on the final hole of her match with Marina Alex to seal a remarkable victory over the United States by 14.5 points to 13.5.
“I think this is a perfect end for my professional career. It does not get any better,” Pettersen, who fought back tears as she hugged her 13-month old son Herman on the 18th green, told a post-event press conference.
“I mean, can you ask for more? The last putt to win the cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of this crowd, I could never in a million miles dream it.
“I never thought I was going to be here four months ago. To have the confidence from Beany (Matthew) to give me a go, this is it. I am completely done. I don’t have any plans from tomorrow. I am pretty much closing it down.”
Pettersen only returned to action in July and partnered Matthew in a team event on the LPGA Tour in Michigan, where the pair missed the cut.
“I had faith in her all the time,” said Matthew, who rated Europe’s first win since 2013 above her Women’s British Open triumph a decade ago. “This is the best without doubt. With the team around you nothing tops this to be honest.
“It’s unbelievable, there’s never been a better moment. It was always going to come down to a putt here or there and for Suzann to get it, phenomenal.”
Starting the day tied at 8-8, the home side won three of the first four singles matches courtesy of Carlota Ciganda, Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier, Hall and Boutier having also won all three of their matches together over the first two days.
However, Nelly Korda also maintained her unbeaten record by recovering from three down with nine to play to beat Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, while rookie Brittany Altomare thrashed Jodi Ewart Shadoff 5&4 and Angel Yin’s triumph over Azahara Munoz made it 11-11.
Jessica Korda took the United States in front for the first time by closing out Caroline Masson 3&2 and the momentum looked to have crucially turned in favour of the visitors.
Charley Hull took the lead against Megan Khang for the first time on the 16th, only to make a mess of the 18th and have to settle for half a point, while Lizette Salas defeated Holland’s Anne Van Dam on the last to get within half a point of retaining the trophy.
It does not get any better. I mean, can you ask for more? The last putt to win the cup, when it's that close? History was just made, to win here in front of this crowd, I could never in a million miles dream it
- Suzann Pettersen
Anna Nordqvist kept European hopes alive with a 4&3 win over Morgan Pressel in the bottom match and Bronte Law then holed from 20 feet for birdie on the 16th to edge ahead of Ally McDonald.
A par on the 17th was enough to secure the win for Law and leave the outcome in the hands of Pettersen and Alex on the 18th.
Pettersen hit a superb approach to six feet and, after Alex missed from twice the distance, she amazingly held her nerve to hole the winning putt and spark jubilant scenes.
“I didn’t know it was for the win, I thought Bronte was behind me in the fairway,” Pettersen added. “It’s a dream come true to win this for Beany, here in Scotland.
“To see my son afterwards, it’s just surreal. Life’s changed so much for me over the last year. He’s obviously the biggest thing that’s ever happened for me. But now I know what it feels like to win as a mom. I’m going to leave it like that.”