Solheim Cup: Leona Maguire says her week could not have been better as Europe retain the trophy
Leona Maguire remains unbeaten with singles victory as Europe beat the United States 15-13; Madelene Sagstrom claims morale-boosting win; Matilda Castren ensures Europe retain the trophy before Emily Pedersen seals outright success
Last Updated: 07/09/21 1:10am
Leona Maguire completed a sensational Solheim Cup debut with an emphatic singles victory to set Europe on their way to retaining the trophy with a 15-13 success over the USA at Inverness Club.
The 26-year-old became the first rookie to claim four-and-a-half points as she stormed to a 5&4 win over the previously impressive Jennifer Kupcho and admitted afterwards that the week had gone better than she had ever expected.
"The goal was to get my point," she said. "That's all I can do. I've given it my absolute all this week. I couldn't have given it anything more. I mean, I couldn't have asked for a better week."
Maguire, the first Irish player to feature in the Solheim Cup, took command against Kupcho by winning four of the first seven holes and never looked in any danger of being beaten.
"Jen is a world class player," she added. "We've done battle many times in college. This wasn't the first, and it will definitely not be the last. I knew I was going to have to play some really good golf to beat her today.
"Got off to a great start; that eagle on two really sort of set me up and holed some really nice putts, and just really kept my foot down all day."
Maguire's win was followed by another point from Madelene Sagstrom as she put Saturday's rules controversy behind her by defeating Ally Ewing 3&2.
"It's been a great week," said the Swede. "The team has obviously done amazing. I haven't really contributed until today. I was saying on the range this morning, hold on a second, I need to be myself. I need to be myself out there. I can't play somebody else's game, I can't be somebody else's character. I need to be myself, and I really found that today. I grinded hard.
"Ally put up a really good fight, so we had a really solid game going, and I'm really proud of myself."
Europe ensured they would retain the trophy when rookie Matilda Castren edged out Lizette Salas 1up.
"I knew it was important, I knew we needed that," said the 26-year-old Finn. "I didn't know exactly what it meant because I knew there were still matches on the course, but I knew we needed to make that putt.
"It's been amazing. I mean, it's a dream come true to me, and to play with Anna (Nordqvist) the first three matches, it was just so much fun to play with her. I learned a lot playing with her, and she was a great partner, and we did really well.
"It's just been an amazing experience, and to win my match today, I mean, this is all I could have asked for."
The outright victory was not sealed until Emily Pedersen holed a 12-foot putt at the 18th to defeat Danielle Kang 1up in the final match.
"It was a bit of a fight because after 15 I knew we'd won, and I just wanted to go celebrate with everyone, so I just really had to collect myself," said the 25-year-old Dane.
"But it felt really good to hole that last putt. It's amazing, and then on American soil, and it's just with this group of people, they're all amazing. We're having such a good time, all the captains, vice-captains. I can't wait to start the party."
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