Solheim Cup: Suzann Pettersen putt was golf's ultimate mic drop
Last Updated: 17/09/19 1:31pm
That was the ultimate in sporting drama at Gleneagles.
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Let's just start with the headline grabber, Suzann Pettersen, who produced the ultimate mic drop in golf. To hole the winning putt in a Solheim Cup was an event that, despite the majors and the multiple wins on the LPGA Tour and elsewhere, has defined her career.
Pettersen had already achieved so much in the Solheim Cup. We've seen her come back from five down with five to play to snatch a half-point against Michele Redman, then there was the victory alongside Annika Sorenstam in her homeland.
The pep talk with Azahara Munoz and Caroline Hedwall in Ireland produced drama to maybe match Gleneagles, before the controversy in Germany over the putt that wasn't given was the standout moment of the 2015 contest. She had to pull out in Des Moines two years ago, just days before the start, but got her special moment this time around.
I called Pettersen's pick by Catriona Matthew as "controversial" on the day it was announced, although I did add that if anyone could handle the pressure such a pick brings, it would be the Norwegian. But for a player who returned in July after 20 month maternity leave, who only made one cut in that comeback, to do what she did? Nah, no one could have predicted that!
If you haven't listened to the Sky Sports podcast from last week in the build up to the Solheim, it might be worth going back to hear Suzann's interview for an understanding why she is quitting pro golf. There's a bit where she talks about how maternity leave was the first time she had switched off and how throughout her career, she would often get up in the middle of the night with swing thoughts.
Pettersen said it was a relief to have one year of not thinking about golf. She has a gorgeous little boy and if she has decided she wants Herman to be her focus, then power to her. She will be missed though.
It would be wrong to reflect on the three days at Gleneagles and make it all about Pettersen. But you can understand why she would be the focus. Not since the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, has a Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup come down to the final putt of the contest.
Americans are very patriotic but having bumped into some of my American colleagues in the aftermath on Sunday evening, all were thrilled with what happened. A contest like this, a drama like this, can only be good in showcasing women's golf in a positive light and to whet the appetite for more Solheim Cups to come.
If only, there could be a knock-on effect for the Ladies European Tour. I could sit here and write how the LET can build on this and build events around Europe's stars like Georgia Hall and Charley Hull. But I am sure, I was saying something like that after the win in Colorado and it never happened.
Now is not the time to get into that, nor is it the time to be getting deeper into the slow play debate. Yes, it was painfully slow at times, but this is something for the game's authorities to deal with.
Until there is a willingness to speed up the game and have officials willing to penalise the players properly, it will not change. The important thing now is to celebrate a wonderful team performance led by such a likable, calm and authoritative captain in Catriona Matthew.
When Anne van Dam and Charley Hull lost out at the 18th, I thought Europe's chances had gone. But as at Killeen Castle, when the scores had also been tied at 8-8 heading into the singles, the bottom three matches - with Pettersen in the thick of it - all swung Europe's way.
There was so much to savour on the final day, from the putts at 15 and 16 from Bronte Law to the calmness in attitude and game from Celine Boutier. Hall took out the world No 3 to end her week with a 100 per cent record and Carlota Ciganda led from the front to win the opening match. Let's not forget Team USA either, who played their part in a Solheim for the ages.
So, onto the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, for the 2021 contest. With a name like that, maybe Matthew might fancy another Scottish-led captaincy. If not, why not Dame Laura Davies? She has always said she would not be captain, but she also wasn't overly keen on the vice-captaincy role and changed her mind there. Over to you, Laura.