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Lexi Thompson's sensational comeback caps Solheim Cup win for USA

US secure 16.5-11.5 win to retain the trophy.

LPGA: The Solheim Cup Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE UNITED STATES won the Solheim Cup on Sunday, thwarting Europe’s comeback bid to triumph 16.5-11.5 in the women’s matchplay showdown.

The Americans took a commanding five-point lead into the singles matches at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa.

And when Lizette Salas sank a par putt at the 18th for a 1-up win over Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England, it brought up the 14.5 points the US needed for an outright victory

“My hands are still shaking just thinking about it,” said Salas, who was draped in a US flag on the green in a low-key celebration.

Indeed the moment was little more than a formality, with the Americans already assured of the win thanks to the number of matches on course in which they were leading.

They had been hurtling toward victory ever since Lexi Thompson’s remarkable rally to halve the opening singles match with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.

With captain Annika Sorenstam’s Europe needing the biggest final-day comeback in Solheim Cup history to snatch the prize, Nordqvist set an early tone, winning the first four holes as Thompson struggled.

But the American came alive on the back nine with a gutsy display that included holing out for an eagle at the 11th and an eagle at 15 to square the match.

Thompson, who was six-under on the back nine, won the 16th with a birdie to take a 1-up lead that she took to 18 after both players bogeyed the par-three 17th.

LPGA: The Solheim Cup Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson shake hands on a half. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The world number two was on the green in two at the last when Nordqvist fired her approach to within two feet. Thompson conceded the birdie putt, and when she couldn’t get her own long attempt to drop the match ended halved.

“It was probably fitting that they both got half a point, they both played amazing,” US captain Juli Inkster said.

The United States had taken control of the tournament with dominant performances in the fourball matches on Friday and Saturday — winning seven of eight points on offer in that format.

Their whitewash in the Friday fourballs erased Europe’s narrow lead from the opening foursomes session and the visitors wouldn’t get in front again.

Inkster joined Judy Rankin as the only women to captain back-to-back winning US Solheim Cup teams.

“I’m just proud of my team,” she said after the 10th American victory in 15 editions since the matches began in 1990. “I really haven’t been nervous all week, but I was a little nervous today.

“It’s just an honor to captain this team, and I’m really honored to captain these girls.”

© – AFP, 2017

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