Solheim Cup: Europe captain Suzann Pettersen hails players as legends after retaining trophy25th September 2023

Suzann Pettersen called her players “legends” as Europe lifted the Solheim Cup for a third consecutive occasion at Finca Cortesin in Spain.

Caroline Hedwall and Carlota Ciganda starred in the singles as Europe retained the trophy with a hard-fought 14-14 tie against the United States.

“We had a massive challenge ahead of us,” said European captain Pettersen.

“There was a stretch where I was pretty sure we were half a point short. We’ve created history yet again.”

Taking the trophy three times in a row (2019, 2021, 2023) marks a European team record, although it has been achieved twice previously by the United States (1994, 1996, 1998 and 2005, 2007, 2009).

The teams had started Sunday’s singles matches level at 8-8 with defending champions Europe needing to reach 14 points and the US requiring 14½ to take the cup.

However, despite a strong start, the momentum of the match appeared to swing towards the Americans, who claimed a 13-11 advantage until a stunning fightback from Sweden’s Hedwall reignited European hopes.

The world number number 121 won five of the last six holes in her match to defeat Ally Ewing and bring Europe back to 13-12 down.

That and Maja Stark’s triumph by 2&1 laid the foundations for Ciganda to secure a tie on the 17th green, as Europe took three points from the final four matches still out on the course.

“I would like to give some extra credit to Caroline Hedwall. I feel like she had the crucial point. She teed it nicely up for Carlota to just bring it home on 16 and 17,” said Pettersen.

“Both Stacy [Lewis] and I knew this was going to come down to the wire. I mean, we were tied going into today, and like it has over the last couple of Solheims, it usually comes down to one match, one putt here or one shot there.”

With Europe’s men set to take on the United States next weekend in the Ryder Cup in Rome, Pettersen told BBC Sport: “Please, if this does not inspire you we can’t help you more.”