Golf: USA beat Europe for second straight Solheim Cup crown

Danielle Kang of Team USA gestures during the final day singles matches of The Solheim Cup.
Danielle Kang of Team USA gestures during the final day singles matches of The Solheim Cup.PHOTO: AFP

DES MOINES, Iowa (AFP) - The United States won the Solheim Cup on Sunday, thwarting Europe's longshot bid for a comeback triumph in the women's match play golf showdown.

The Americans took a commanding five-point lead into the day's 12 singles matches at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa.

They reached the 14 1/2 points needed for an outright win when Lizette Salas sank a par putt at the 18th for a 1 up win over Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England.

"My hands are still shaking just thinking about it," Salas said.

But the Americans had been hurtling toward victory ever since Lexi Thompson's remarkable rally to halve the opening singles match with Sweden's Anna Nordqvist.

With captain Annika Sorenstam's Europe needing the biggest final-day comeback in Solheim Cup history to snatch the prize, Nordqvist set an early tone, winning the first four holes as Thompson struggled.

But the American came alive on the back nine with a gutsy display that included holing out for an eagle at the 11th and an eagle at 15 to square the match.

Thompson, who was eight-under on the back nine, won the 16th with a birdie to take a 1 up lead that she took to 18 after both players bogeyed the par-three 17th.

Thompson was on the green in two at the last when Nordqvist fired her approach to within two feet. Thompson conceded the birdie putt, and when she couldn't get her own long birdie attempt to drop the match ended halved.

"It was probably fitting that they both got half a point, they both played amazing," US captain Juli Inkster said.

The United States continued to edge closer to the goal as veteran Cristie Kerr closed out a 2 & 1 victory over England's Mel Reid and Paula Creamer defeated England's Georgia Hall 1 up.

Germany's Caroline Masson helped keep European hopes alive with a 4 & 2 win over Michelle Wie.

And Scottish veteran Catriona Matthew, pressed into playing duty only when Suzann Pettersen pulled out late with an injury, rallied from 3 down through 11 holes to beat Stacy Lewis 1 up.

But when 18-year-old Angel Yin halved her match with France's Karine Icher, with Salas assured of at least halving hers, the Americans were certain of the 14 points they needed to keep the cup.

Salas's win ensured it would be an outright victory, with only the final points tally left to be determined by the remaining matches.

"We just got out-played, there's no doubt about it," said Sorenstam, adding she was proud of her players' determination in the face of adversity.

"They were out there fighting for every single point," she said.