Despite an inspired effort from a host of European players, the USA has once again proven too strong, steamrolling its way to a 16½ – 11 ½ victory to retain the Solheim Cup.
After the brilliance of Friday afternoon’s four-balls, which saw the Americans produce a history-making clean sweep, the five-point margin heading into Sunday’s singles matches in Des Moines was always going to be too much for the Europeans to overcome.
Anna Nordqvist didn’t receive that memo, though. Her opening singles match with Lexi Thompson will long be remembered and could have very easily sparked an unlikely comeback.
Nordqvist, who entered the event recovering from a bout of glandular fever, jumped out of the blocks to be 4-up through nine holes. But Thompson rallied, and by the 18th hole the match was halved after the crowd was treated to 11 birdies and two eagles.
The tournament came to an end when rookie Danielle Kang, who had encouraged the galleries to cheer during her opening tee shots, defeated Emily Kristine Pedersen 3&1 on the 16th hole.
But despite the gallant efforts of the Europeans, the fate of the Cup had long been decided.
"The Europeans fought hard today and made it really close," said US captain Juli Inkster, who joins Judy Rankin as the only US women to captain back-to-back winning Solheim Cup teams.
"I really haven't been nervous all week but today I was a little bit. It's an honour to captain this team and I'm really proud of the girls."
America has now won five of the last seven competitions, and has lifted the Cup at the biennial event 10 times since its inception in 1990.
“We had great preparation. We played loose. And we played free. We played for each other,” Inkster said.
The Europeans had their backs to the wall from the outset, following the withdrawal of one of their best players, Suzann Pettersen. The Norwegian, who was such a focal point heading into the tournament, pulled out before play commenced with a back injury.
Things didn’t get any better on Saturday, either, with young Englishwoman Charley Hull forced to sit of the foursomes with ongoing wrist issues.
But rather than search for excuses, something she was probably entitled to do, European captain Annika Sorenstam was as classy as ever in defeat.
“We just got outplayed, there’s no doubt about it,” said the Swede. “I’m so proud how hard they fought. And it’s not easy coming out here on a Sunday with the team so far behind.
“What can I say? Just congratulate the U.S.A because they played some awesome golf.”