Did you see the Solheim Cup 2011 between the USA and Europe?
What a wonderful golfing and sporting occasion. The standard of golf was superb and highly competitive with the result in doubt until the penultimate match. Europe eventually winning a real nail-biter 15-13.
It was Europe’s first win since 2003 and a much-needed boost for women’s golf in Europe.
The final day of the match played out in awful conditions with wind and rain and the threat of lightning forcing suspension of play three times.
The match itself had everything, from Christie Kerr’s withdrawal from the American team due to injury, to great team play and individual brilliance.
None more so than Juli Inkster’s 35 yard bunker shot on the eighteenth hole to within 6 inches of the pin to win a half for the USA against Laura Davies in the battle of the two veterans. At the time, this appeared to have swung the match America’s way.
However, the Europeans had different ideas and produced a memorable fight back; especially Suzann Pettersen who birdied the last three holes against Michelle Wie to win her match and Caroline Hedwall who came from two down with two holes to play to draw with Ryannn O’Toole and get the decisive half point needed to win the Solheim Cup 2011.
These girls must have nerves of steel to play golf to this level under so much pressure. As any golfer will tell you, mental toughness as well as skill and physical endurance is vitally important to play golf well.
This was a tremendous advert for women’s golf and just as exciting to watch as the men’s Ryder Cup.
As for passion, it was up there with any grand sporting event you can think of. It was so alive, so vivid with its drama, its colour, its buzz and sense of occasion. This is why people play golf.
In two years time, the professional women golfers of Europe and the USA will meet again in Colorado for this biennial tournament named after the Norwegian-American golf club manufacturer Karsten Solheim.