Entering the final day of the 2015 Solheim Cup, the Americans had their backs against the wall. The Europeans owned the momentum with host country Germany cheering them on in the gallery, leading 10-6 as the players began singles play. Only twice had a team rallied back from a 10-6 deficit at that stage in both Solheim and Ryder Cup history.
Until the ladies from the United States accomplished that very feat.
The Americans painted red numbers across the leaderboard on that overcast Sunday, overcoming the odds to magically win 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 – their first Solheim Cup victory since 2009.
The atmosphere lived up to the hype. It had everything you could ask for in a match play setting – hugs, tears and pride for one’s country.
There was also controversy on a putting infraction, which adds fuel to the Europeans’ fire as they look to regain the glass trophy beginning Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. Overall, the United States owns a 9-5 record in the event which dates back to 1990. A real rivalry has formed between the two sides in that time span, sparked by bitterness and angst. Claims of unsportsmanlike play have been issued from time to time, further adding to the drama.
Overall, the United States owns a 9-5 record in the event which dates back to 1990. A real rivalry has formed between the two sides in that time span, sparked by bitterness and angst. Claims of unsportsmanlike play have been issued from time to time, further adding to the drama.
The tournament format is identical to the Ryder Cup. Twelve golfers are featured on each team which will play eight foursomes (two golfers alternate shots while sharing one ball), eight four-balls (a team of two golfers playing their own ball) and 12 singles on the last of the three days. One point is awarded to each winning team or player, and if tied after 18 holes, a half point is given to each side. The team that gets the most points after three days of competition wins.
But despite the rules and format being the same, far greater attention is on the men’s competition. That’s fair, considering the Ryder Cup features the biggest stars on golf’s most popular circuit, the PGA Tour. However, every two years the Solheim Cup goes under the radar with little viewership from casual golf fans.
The marketing of this year’s event has been strengthened, including country music stars Jake Owen and Rascal Flatts playing concerts on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. Social media has also been a major influence on the LPGA spreading the word, so there’s no excuse not to have knowledge of when the event is happening – if you follow golf across multiple tours.
These golfers can put on a show, bringing energy and patriotism that is even more apparent than the guys. Take Michelle Wie for example, who is never shy to show her country’s colors in vibrant ways.
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) August 15, 2017
Let’s not forget about the European team. They too have their own flair.
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) August 14, 2017
With the PGA Tour hosting a less than spectacular tournament this weekend, it gives way for the ladies to take center stage in the golf world. Who knows? Maybe history will be made once again when the Americans and Europeans clash again.
If you seek excitement, passion and talented athletes who give it their all, the Solheim Cup is for you.