Ranking every golfer at the Solheim Cup, from heartbreaker to hero

TOLEDO, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 05: Leona Maguire of Team Europe reacts to her putt on the 14th green during the Foursomes Match on day two of the Solheim Cup at the Inverness Club on September 05, 2021 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire (top left) was the star of the show for Team Europe.

Getty Images

A splendid Solheim Cup is in the books — though more splendid for one team than the other. How to grade Team USA? Every player had at least one point, and no player had more than 2.5. Team Europe, by contrast, had five players with 2.5 points or more, leaning on its in-form players for a second consecutive Cup win.

It all added up to a 15-13 victory for Catriona Matthew’s European side. But how’d the individuals fare in their respective matches? Here’s the breakdown, player by player.

TEAM USA

12. Danielle Kang (1-3-0)

Credit to Kang for wanting the rock — she was first off in the first foursomes match of the week and last off in the final singles match. But this wasn’t her week, and even after Team Europe had retained the Cup she was left as the final match on the course, where she lost a rollercoaster session 1 down despite a bomb birdie putt at No. 18.

Matilda Castren pumps her fist after winning her match and retaining the Solheim Cup for Europe.
Ole! Castren earns clinching point as Europe beats U.S. to win Solheim Cup
By: Josh Berhow

11. Jessica Korda (1-2-0)

It was heartening to see Korda rally back for a victory in Monday singles, but a little disappointing to see one of Team USA’s best players only twice in the team portion. Splitting up Team Korda after just one match felt like a letdown.

10. Mina Harigae (1-2-0)

The captain’s pick and Solheim Cup rookie earned her first point alongside Yealimi Noh on Sunday afternoon but ran out of gas in a 5-and-4 defeat at the hands of Celine Boutier.

9. Austin Ernst (1-2-1)

Ernst was in position to steal a crucial point on Monday but her birdie putt went begging at No. 18, so she settled for a half-point.

8. Ally Ewing (1-2-1)

Ewing went 1-1 with Nelly Korda as her partner, earned another half-point with Megan Khang and lost to Madelene Sagstrom on Monday in singles.

7. Lexi Thompson (1-2-1)

Thompson played a spirited final match against Anna Nordqvist and poured in a number of clutch putts, earning a satisfying tie to finish off an uneven week.

6. Megan Khang (1-1-1)

Khang had never won a Solheim Cup match outright until Monday singles, when she blitzed Sophia Popov to a 6-up lead through eight holes, more than enough cushion to earn a win.

5. Brittany Altomare (2-2-0)

Altomare likely played better than her record suggests, losing two Day 1 matches on the 18th hole before rallying for one point on each Sunday and Monday, including birdies on four of her final five holes in singles to win 2 and 1.

4. Nelly Korda (2-2-0)

The world No. 1 looked at different points to be energized, deflated, locked in, burdened and the absolute best player on property. That tallied up, fittingly, to a .500 record and a middling week with decidedly bright spots.

3. Yealimi Noh (2-1-0)

One bright spot was more of the world being introduced to Yealimi Noh, a Solheim Cup rookie who made the most of her three matches — even if Mel Reid did bail her out with a three-putt at No. 18 on Monday.

2. Lizette Salas (2-1-1)

Salas seems to absolutely thrive in the spotlight and there’s an alternate reality where she carried Team USA to a miracle victory with a late charge Monday. Instead her final two putts went begging and she ended up on the wrong side of a 1-down defeat to Matilda Castren.

1. Jennifer Kupcho (2-1-1)

Kupcho is a Solheim Cup rookie but was Team USA’s star of the week — and she and Salas played the match of the week against Mel Reid and Leona Maguire on Sunday. But things took a turn when she ran into buzzsaw Maguire on Monday and lost 5 and 4.

TEAM EUROPE

12. Sophia Popov (0-3-0)

Twenty-three of the 24 Solheim Cuppers earned at least one point — which unfortunately left Popov in the awkward position of being winless on the winning side. We’re sure the champagne tasted properly satisfying regardless.

11. Carlota Ciganda (1-2-0)

Ciganda won 1 up, lost 1 up and lost her singles match 2 and 1. In other words, she had a tense three matches.

10. Madelene Sagstrom (1-2-0)

Sagstrom rallied from an early deficit on Monday for a 3-and-2 victory over Ally Ewing that set the tone for Team Europe’s finishing touch.

9. Georgia Hall (1-2-1)

Losing to Nelly Korda 1 up is nothing to be ashamed of. Hall acquitted herself well but came up on the wrong side of a couple close matches.

jennifer kupcho patrick cantlay
For golf fans, Tour Championship and Solheim Cup offer wildly different vibes
By: Michael Bamberger

8. Celine Boutier (1-1-1)

Boutier blitzed Mina Harigae in a pivotal Monday match, ultimately finishing her off 5 and 4.

7. Nanna Koerstz Madsen (1-1-1)

Some ties feel like wins, and that was the case with Madsen’s split with Austin Ernst on Monday, which required several clutch par putts down the stretch — and some bullets dodged from her opponent.

6. Charley Hull (2-2-0)

Hull is just 25 but now has an incredible 12.5 career Solheim Cup points in five events, which means she’s halfway to Laura Davies’ all-time record of 25.

5. Mel Reid (2-1-1)

Reid proved a splendid partner for Leona Maguire as the pair went 2-0-1 together — and she nearly ended the week undefeated but missed a four-footer at No. 18 in singles. Reid is the heavy favorite for MVP of the celebration, though.

4. Anna Nordqvist (2-1-1)

Nordqvist and partner Matilda Castren set the tone by earning two victories on Saturday to help Europe jump out to a lead. Then she gritted out a hard-fought tie against Lexi Thompson in singles.

You won't hear the name Alice Hewson at the Solheim Cup, but her presence is a huge boost for Team Europe.
The most energized European player at the Solheim Cup isn’t even playing
By: Rachel Bleier

3. Emily Kristine Pedersen (3-1-0)

Pedersen finished off the entire Cup with a birdie and a putter drop to beat Danielle Kang, sending Team Europe officially into celebratory mode.

2. Matilda Castren (3-1-0)

In addition to teaming up with Nordqvist, Castren leapt into Solheim Cup lore with an up-and-down from a fried egg lie on 18 to earn the clinching point for Team Europe.

1. Leona Maguire (4-0-1)

The clear MVP of the Solheim Cup played every session and went undefeated, earning immediate star status. Maguire entered as the first Irishwoman to ever play in the competition. She finished the week with a 5-and-4 trouncing of Jennifer Kupcho to put the finishing touches on a dominant week.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/GOLF.com, The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a 2014 graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.