Sunday, June 24, 2018

Europe romps to Solheim Cup over Americans

PARKER, Colo. — Even with six rookies on her team, captain Liselotte Neumann told the Europeans this was their time to make history in the Solheim Cup.

All she wanted was for them to prove they could win in America. They gave her so much more.

Caroline Hedwall became the first player in event history to go 5-0. The 24-year-old Swede's approach on the 435-yard 18th hole was within 4 feet and her birdie gave her a 1-up win over Michelle Wie — and assured Europe of keeping the cup.

"I'm still shaking," Hedwall said. "It's just amazing."

Moments later, Catriona Matthew holed a 5-foot par putt to halve her match and give Europe the outright win on the seventh try in America.

By the time it was over, Europe was in the record book again with an 18-10 victory, the biggest blowout since this competition began in 1990.

"It was really fun to see Caroline get her fifth point this week, making some history on the team," Neumann said. "Winning here for the first time, making more history. … I'm sure we'll go have a drink or two and do some dancing and singing tonight."

It was the first time the U.S. team lost consecutive Solheim Cups; they lead the series 8-5.

U.S. captain Meg Mallon could only point to a poor performances on the slick greens — and her team's inability to close.

"The way we played 16, 17 and 18 I think is what really made the difference," Mallon said. "It wasn't for lack of preparation because we played this golf course quite a bit. So it wasn't like a surprise for us. It was just a matter of who dropped the putts on those holes. And unfortunately, it was the Europeans."

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome lost 3 and 2 to Jodi Ewart-Shadoff after the overall outcome was already decided.

Stacy Lewis, the highest-ranked American coming off a Women's British Open title at St. Andrews, went 1-2-1 for the week.

Europe's rookies were 12-5-2, including a blowout win Sunday by England's Charley Hull, at 17 the youngest player in Solheim Cup history. Hull defeated Paula Creamer 5 and 4, the largest margin in the 12 singles matches.

Hull only showed her age at the end. She asked Creamer if she could sign a golf ball for a friend back home. "He's a big fan, so I thought I might as well get one," Hull said.

PGA: Patrick Reed won the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., for his first tour title, beating Jordan Spieth with a most improbable birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

Reed recovered from a drive on the par-4 10th that came a few feet from going out of bounds and stopped in some pine needles in the woods near a television cable. He pulled out his 7-iron, uncorked a baseball swing from an uphill lie and sent the ball under a branch — away from the tree trunk — to land his second shot 7 feet from the pin.

"It was the best shot of my life, that's for sure," Reed said.

Spieth, who called it "one of the best shots I've ever witnessed," reached the green in two strokes, but his 10-foot birdie putt trickled wide of the cup.

The two tied at 14-under 266. Reed closed with 66, Spieth 65.

Champions: A day after tying the tournament record at 10-under 62, Bart Bryant closed with 72 for his first 50-and-over tour victory at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. Bryant finished at 16 under to beat Russ Cochran (67) and Corey Pavin (69) by one shot to win the 1,000th event in the history of the senior tour, which began in 1980. Don January, 83, who won that first tournament in Atlantic City, N.J., was on hand to congratulate Bryant.

U.S. Amateur: Matt Fitzpatrick defeated Oliver Goss 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final in Brookline, Mass., to become the first English champion since 1911. Fitzpatrick, 18, who will be a freshman at Northwestern in the fall, won when Goss missed a par on No. 15 at the Country Club.

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