Europe responds to U.S. Solheim Cup trash talk: ‘We’re just going to step on their necks’
Things are heating up in the prelude to the Solheim Cup, which begins on Friday at Gleneagles in Scotland. Earlier this week, Team USA’s Danielle Kang made headlines when she described what it’s like to compete in a Solheim Cup on GOLF.com’s Drop Zone Podcast.
“You’re trying to take souls, you know,” Kang said with a smile. “You’re going there to make people cry at this point, just crush the other team. That’s the fun of it. We don’t ever get to do that. We’re always alone. We’re always by ourselves, playing for us and our caddie and our own little team. To have another person to understand what you feel when you hit a bad shot and to do it together, I just think that’s pretty incredible.”
During a press conference with European captain’s picks Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Suzann Pettersen, the women were asked about Kang’s “fighting talk” about “taking souls and making rivals cry,” and how comments like that have gone down in the team room.
Ewart Shadoff was the first to answer. “I think it’s just extra motivation, really, for us,” she said. “I don’t think there will be any tears on our team, just happiness.”
But then Pettersen closed with quite a kicker. “And we’re just going to step on their necks.”
Laughter ensued, and Pettersen’s retort was clearly all in good fun. But history has shown that Pettersen is also a fierce competitor. She was selected as a captain’s pick for Team Europe despite the fact that she has only made four competitive starts this year, after taking a year and a half off for the birth of her first child.
The 38-year-old is No. 4 on the all-time European team Solheim Cup points list with 19, and has a career record of 16-11-6. Pettersen was also at the center of the 2015 Solheim Cup controversy involving Alison Lee. During a closely contested Saturday morning fourball match, Lee missed a birdie putt that would have won the hole for the Americans, then picked up the two-foot putt that was left, believing it was conceded. Pettersen said it was not, and Europe won both the hole and the match. Both Lee and Pettersen’s partner, Charley Hull, were in tears afterward. The Americans ultimately staged a dramatic comeback to win the Cup a day later, and Pettersen issued an apology via Instagram for her role in the controversy on the Monday after the match ended.
Team USA is seeking a third straight Solheim Cup victory this weekend. Team Europe has not won at home since 2011 at Kileen Castle Golf Resort in Ireland.
To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.