GM Asks...Was This The Greatest Ever Solheim Cup?

Golf Monthly|November 2019

GM Asks...Was This The Greatest Ever Solheim Cup?
Europe won the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in the most dramatic fashion, but did slow play overshadow Catriona Matthew’s team’s momentous victory?
Fergus Bisset

A novelist penning a sporting thriller would have written little different: an underdog home side led by a composed captain on her home patch; three days of captivating competition and challenging conditions with the inevitable dash of controversy; fortunes ebbing and flowing towards an incredible climax in which an experienced yet recently out of action wildcard emphatically justifies her captain’s faith by holing the winning putt to secure the narrowest of victories before promptly retiring…

On paper, the 2019 Solheim Cup may look like the stuff of fiction, but the facts will go down that Europe pulled off a fabulous and, at times, unlikely 14.5-13.5 victory over the USA at a resplendent Gleneagles, reclaiming the cup for the first time since 2013.

Both sides produced some excellent golf and stand-out players sparkled under the Perthshire sun. The atmosphere was electric, passions ran high yet the respect and camaraderie between competitors and fans on both sides remained throughout.

The thrilling tournament should have been nothing other than a tremendous advert for golf and the women’s game in particular. But, inevitably, there was a negative to consider. With rounds in the fourballs taking almost six hours, play was glacially slow. At a time when the game is struggling with a widespread slow play problem, the deliberate nature of some participants in this Solheim Cup highlighted the issue once again. How then will the 2019 Solheim Cup be remembered?

The tale of the tape

Displaying steely determination that she would maintain through the week, England’s Bronte Law got the 16th Solheim Cup underway after whipping up the crowd on the 1st tee early Friday morning. Paired with Carlota Ciganda of Spain, Law was one of the characters of the event, reminiscent of Ian Poulter in her fiery, resolute approach.

Two more Englishwomen, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull, together with their partners Celine Boutier of France and Spain’s Azahara Munoz, were key players for Europe over days one and two. Hall and Boutier won three points from three while Hull and Munoz claimed two and a half from three.

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November 2019