Europe routs USA to retain Solheim Cup
Caroline Hedwall of Sweden and the European team celebrates after making a putt to win her match and retain the Solhiem Cup, at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, on August 18, 2013.
Sweden's Caroline Hedwall went a perfect 5-0, sinking a four-foot putt to beat USA captain's pick Michelle Wie 1 up and give the Europeans the 14 points they needed to make sure of keeping the trophy for another two years.
Hedwall is the first in Solheim history to go 5-0 and the only player on either team to play all five matches this week at the Colorado Golf Club.
Europe dominated with their putting, receiving big contributions from a half dozen Solheim Cup rookies, including 17-year-old Charley Hull of England. Hull overpowered American star Paula Creamer twice in as many days, winning the Saturday fourballs and the Sunday singles.
Europe's eight point win was the biggest margin of victory in the history of the women's golf tournament, breaking the old mark of seven points which was achieved twice in 2003 and 1990.
Europe took a commanding lead into Sunday's 12 singles matches after blitzing the USA in the afternoon fourball sessions on Saturday.
They carried that momentum over to Sunday, winning two of the first three matches to finish and halving the other before Brittany Lang finally got the Americans on the board with a two and one win over Azahara Munoz of Spain.
Hull, who is the youngest player in Solheim Cup history, was the biggest surprise for Europe with her strong play all weekend. Hull combined with countrywoman Jodi Ewart-Shadoff to win Saturday's afternoon fourballs match against Creamer and Lexi Thompson.
Spain's Carlota Ciganda helped set the stage for Hedwall's heroics as she beat Morgan Pressel four and two in the third match to be completed on Sunday, moving the Europeans to within one point of retaining the Cup.
Play was suspended for about an hour in the late afternoon because of bad weather in the area of the course, located 25 kilometers southeast of Denver. The horn blew to call the players off the course with eight of the 12 singles matches underway and Europe leading 13-7.
The Americans began the singles trailing 10.5-5.5 and needed a total of 14.5 points to win back the Cup they lost in Ireland in 2011. They knew going in they had their work cut out for them as no team has ever rallied from more than two points behind going into the Sunday singles.
Captain Meg Mallon's squad desperately wanted to avoid a repeat of Saturday when they were hopelessly outgunned as the Europeans swept the afternoon session of fourballs 4-0.