US' amazing comeback to snatch Solheim Cup

ST LEON-ROT (Germany) • After a dramatic and controversial final day, the United States defeated Europe yesterday to win the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2009.

Behind 6-10 going into the 12 singles - the same score that Europe trailed the US before coming back to win the Ryder Cup at Medinah in 2012 - the US triumphed by a point, 141/2 to 131/2.

Paula Creamer claimed the winning point in the final singles match with a 4 and 3 win over Sandra Gal.

Earlier in the morning, players from both teams were reduced to tears at the extraordinary conclusion of a four-ball match.

Alison Lee, of the United States, believed she had been conceded a 15-inch putt by the European team of Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull on the 17th green.

Lee duly picked up her ball. Pettersen insisted no such concession had been given, a stance she firmly refused to waver from when claiming the match 2-up.

Both Hull and Lee were crying before leaving the scene.

Europe thereby took a 10-6 lead into the singles session with Pettersen painted as the ultimate sporting villain.

"I looked at it and I thought I heard it (the putt) was good," Lee, who partnered Brittany Lincicome, said afterwards. "I mean, they said they didn't say it was, but I could have sworn..."

Juli Inkster, the United States captain, was scathing about the Europeans' conduct.

"It's a done deal and you know what, we don't want it (the point) now," said the 55-year-old veteran. "It is just BS as far as I'm concerned. I have never seen anything like it in my career. It's just not right. You just don't do that to your peers. It's disrespectful.

"I saw Charley walking off (the green) and Suzann kind of turned her back and then Suzann said she did not give it to her (Lee). If that's the way they need to play to win, then we will just try to do our best out there today. There's no way they could ever justify that. I don't care what they say. You just don't do that to your peers."

Carin Koch, Europe's captain, seemed to clarify with her players that they were never of a mind to concede the par putt in question. "We have to follow the rules," said the Swede. "We had a rules meeting where it was stated you have to concede a putt very clearly." AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE,

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2015, with the headline 'US' amazing comeback to snatch Solheim Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe