Lexi Thompson's 'weirdest round ever' helps Team USA retain Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson's 'weirdest round ever' helps Team USA retain Solheim Cup

Four years ago, Team Europe celebrated the most decisive win in Solheim Cup history - on American soil, no less. The omens were not good.

Salas and Yin had set the tone, with Salas recording three straight birdies to take the first three holes, and they won on back-to-back par fives to end the contest in 13 holes. And I think I got off to a hot start.

The United States took a 10 1/2-5 1/2 lead over Europe on Saturday in the Solheim Cup, matching its biggest advantage entering the final day. Nordqvist was quick out of the blocks winning the first four holes in a row.

In proving the value of captaincy, a turning point for Thompson appeared to be a pep talk from Inkster and her assistant Nancy Lopez.

The morale-boosting significance of that half point was not lost on Juli Inkster, the USA captain. Some words of wisdom and a hug from the captain saw Thompson find her mojo.

Despite Kerr going 2up through four holes, Reid was able to battle back and square the match after eight holes.

It was a great shame that Georgia Hall, a shining light for Europe, lost her match to Paula Creamer in such stinging circumstances. The match saw the lead constantly change as the pair matched each other blow for blow.

"So back to the same thing, hit the ball in the fairway". Salas was to take the USA past the 14-point marker with a single hole victory. The 2019 Solheim Cup will be held at Gleneagles in Scotland on September 13-15.

On the 17th tee, Anna Nordqvist was in tears, having fallen one behind to Thompson in a match that once looked firmly in her control.

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America has now won five of the last seven competitions, and has lifted the Cup at the biennial event 10 times since its inception in 1990.

Not bad for a player a few days short of her 48th birthday, who only switched roles from vice-captain to emergency player when Suzann Pettersen was ruled out a couple of days before the start with a back injury.

Brittany Lincicome was on a roll, on and off the golf course.

At the last Catriona's birdie putt from 30 feet drifted wide, but Lewis was unable to convert hers from ten feet, handing Matthew a one -up victory.

Once again, it came down to the final hole as Matthew clawed back a three hole deficit to beat Lewis by one hole.

Sorenstam ruled out continuing as captain of the Europe team.

A combination of guaranteed halve points from Angel Yin (who halved her match with Karine Icher), Lizette Salas (who beat Jodi Ewart-Shadoff) and Gerina Piller (who beat Florentyna Parker) put the American team past the 14½-point threshold to win the Cup. Didn't quite expect her to make that putt and mine ended up lipping out.

Charley Hull's 1-up win over Brittany Lang was notable given the continuing wrist problems encountered by the Kettering player. And sometimes for the board you just need somebody to get up another hole. Team Europe earned a 4 1/2-3 1/2 edge in foursomes (alternate shots) on Friday and Saturday.

Even more ominous for Europe is the fact that no Solheim Cup team has ever come back from more than four points down to win on the final day. Beyond being well liked and respected by her players, nine of whom played on both of Inkster's teams, the Hall of Famer encourages fun and inspires excellence.

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Russia, however, threw its weight behind Maduro and the election, backing the government turnout figure. The drop in global energy prices and political corruption have destroyed Venezuela's oil-rich economy.

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