Even with a solar eclipse impending, there was no obscuring the shine emanating from the U.S. Solheim Cup team on Sunday.
The Americans lit up Des Moines with three days of inspiring golf that ultimately produced a 16½-11½ victory over Europe in the biennial matches. Entering Sunday’s singles with a 10½-5½ lead, Juli Inkster’s charges made quick work of keeping the cup the 2015 American squad captured with a comeback for the ages in Germany.
At mid-afternoon in Iowa, Angel Yin – an 18-year-old U.S. captain’s pick who two years ago played in the Junior Solheim Cup – drained a short par putt on the 18th hole at Des Moines Golf and Country Club to halve her match with Karine Icher and guarantee that the U.S. would retain the cup. About 20 minutes later, America’s Lizette Salas closed out Jodi Ewart Shadoff to clinch an outright victory.
From the moment Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson eagled the first hole of the competition – with Kerr holing the putt after Thompson drove the green on the short par-4 – the Americans had the Europeans’ number, though Annika Sörenstam’s underdog squad hardly rolled over. Case in point: During the Saturday afternoon four-balls, England’s Mel Reid and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda were 10-under par with the usual match-play concessions – only to lose, 2 down, to Americans Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome.
While the women were playing for country, PGA Tour players were jockeying for FedEx Cup playoff positions – or striving to keep their cards – in the regular-season finale in Greensboro, N.C. Henrik Stenson won the Wyndham Championship, his first title since last year’s Open Championship, and takes momentum into this week’s playoff opener, the Northern Trust.