A memorable Lexi-Anna duel and four other takeaways from the Solheim Cup

August 20, 2017

When all was said and done on Sunday, the United States retained the Solheim Cup with a 16.5-11.5 win over Europe at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. But the final score only tells part of the story. Here are five other lessons from this year’s iteration of the biennial event.

There’s no let up in Lexi

Four down after four holes to Anna Nordqvist in their lead singles match on Sunday, Lexi Thompson turned on the after-burners and blazed through the back nine in seven-under par to earn a halve. Throughout her sizzling stretch, Thompson not only set the tone for the USA. She showed the kind of toughness that can’t be taught.

Nordqvist is no slouch

On the 17th tee, Anna Nordqvist was in tears, having fallen one behind to Thompson in a match that once looked firmly in her control. But great athletes don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. A short while later, from the 18th fairway, Nordqvist stuffed an 8-iron to tap in range for a birdie and halve in a hard-fought head-to-head that neither player deserved to lose.

Kerr’s Cup Runneth Over

The first full point for the U.S. in Sunday singles was claimed by Cristie Kerr, a fitting achievement for a woman who went an undefeated 3-0-1 for the week while surpassing Juli Inkster as the leading American point-earner in Solheim Cup history.

A Friday Foursomes Sweep, and a Foregone Conclusion

They say you can’t win the Solheim Cup on Friday. But when the Americans blanked the Euros in that afternoon’s foursomes, it was pretty clear: the event had become theirs to lose.

The Future is Wow

This year’s competition is in the past, but it sure looked like a prelude to exciting Cups to come. We’re thinking of the showings put on by a trio of Solheim rookies: gutty 21-year-old Georgia Hall of England; long-bombing American Angel Yin, who is just 18 but flies it 300; and feisty 21-year-old Danielle Kang, who seemed so comfortable in the match-play cauldron you had to wonder: has the U.S. found its female Patrick Reed?