European Solheim Cup hero Pettersen announces retirement

Gleneagles (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Suzann Pettersen announced her retirement from professional golf after sinking the winning putt in Europe's thrilling Solheim Cup victory over the United States at Gleneagles on Sunday.

Europe beat the USA 14.5-13.5, with Norwegian wildcard Pettersen holing a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole for the vital one-up win over Marina Alex.

The 38-year-old was playing in her ninth Solheim Cup but it was a rare outing in the last two years.

She gave birth to her first child, Herman, just over a year ago and only made the Solheim as a shock wildcard selection from captain Catriona Matthew.

"This is the end of my Solheim career, and the end for me in professional golf," she said.

"This is it. I'm completely done. Today was a dream come true and it was a real team effort. If it hadn't been for my teammates I wouldn't have been able to do what I did.

"But life has changed for me so much over the past couple of years. I'm just delighted I know what it feels like to win as a mum. But this is the end for me in professional golf."

Pettersen has been a professional for 18 years, winning the Europe rookie of the year title in 2001 and then going on to win 23 times, including two majors.

"Suzann has been a great role model, a true great of women's golf and we wish her well," said Scotland's Matthew.

"Today was a dream come true for me. My team played their hearts out and the fact it came down to the last putt on the final hole was just amazing.

"This is definitely the best moment of my career, it even tops winning the British Open. But I think it is harder watching than playing."

For US skipper Juli Inkster, it was a first defeat in three matches in charge.

"It was a tough loss, but I told my team that the sun will still come up tomorrow and it was an honour to do this job three times.

"Today was special for women's golf. The Europeans played great and now we look forward to Toledo in 2021 and trying to get the Cup back."

The Americans looked likely to win the Cup until the final stages.

Anna Nordqvist won the last of the 12 singles and then Bronte Law birdied the 16th and 17th holes to beat Ally Mcdonald 2 and 1.

The stage was set for Pettersen. All square playing the 18th, she stepped up one final time and made the perfect curtain call.