Top 3 Solheim Cup Moments

The countdown towards the 16th staging of Solheim Cup is in full swing as the best golfers from America and Europe prepare to battle it out for ultimate glory at Gleneagles.

It will be the first time the biennial transatlantic matchplay contest has returned to Scotland, the Home of Golf, since 2000 when Europe clinched victory.

Catriona Matthew and her charges will be bidding to wrestle the trophy back from the USA when the two teams go head-to-head on the PGA Centenary Course from September 13-15.

But they are set to face a stern test over three days from Juli Inkster’s American side in what promises to be one of the highlights on the world’s sporting calendar this year.

And with less than three months to go until the players touch down at Gleneagles, we’ve cast our mind back to three of the top moments from the Solheim Cup’s back catalogue.

LAURA DAVIES MASTERCLASS

As the event’s all-time leading points scorer and the record holder for most appearances, Laura Davies will forever be remembered as one of the Solheim Cup’s greatest players.

She made her debut in the inaugural competition in 1990 but it was her instrumental role in helping Europe to a first-ever triumph at Dalmahoy in 1992 that will always live long in the memory.

Davies teamed up with Alison Nicholas in the Friday foursomes and led from the front as the European pairing secured a 1-up victory against Betsy King and Beth Daniel.

With only 18 points available in total, Davies returned for Saturday’s fourballs and clinched another 1-up triumph alongside Nicholas - this time against Patty Sheehan and Juli Inkster.

The legendary golfer then ensured she finished the weekend with an unblemished record after beating Brandie Burton 4&2 as Europe celebrated a 11.5-6.5 success in Scotland.

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DOTTIE SEALS USA HAT-TRICK

The United States enjoyed a remarkable period of dominance after losing the Solheim Cup in 1992, surging back from that disappointment to win the trophy three times in a row.

America’s victory in 1998 at Muirfield Village in Ohio was the culmination of that success as Dottie Pepper rose to the occasion to produce a flawless performance for the hosts.

Already a veteran of four Solheim Cups, Pepper picked up two points on the opening day after teaming up with Juli Inkster and Brandie Burton in the foursomes and fourballs, respectively.

She continued her fine form when she linked up with Inkster again in Saturday’s foursomes, which ended in a 1-up win for the duo against Helen Alfredsson and Marie-Laure de Lorenzi.

And after being rested from the afternoon fourballs, Pepper clinched her fourth point against Trish Johnson as USA completed a hat-trick of Solheim Cup wins with a 16-12 triumph.

 

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A YEAR OF EUROPE FIRSTS

Defending champions Europe arrived in Colorado for the 2013 Solheim Cup feeling confident about their chances - but even they couldn’t have anticipated what transpired.

Liselotte Neumann’s troops were irresistible as they retained the Solheim Cup for the first time since the competition began in 1990 with a comprehensive 18-10 victory.

Securing back-to-back triumphs was not the only first they achieved that week, either, with the margin of victory the largest by either team in the competition’s history.

It was also the first time a European team had conquered on American soil, while Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist became the first player to make a hole-in-one at the biggest event in women's golf.

The star performer for the winning side was another Swede, though. Caroline Hedwall also broke new ground as she won all five of her matches to etch her name into Solheim Cup history.
 

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