Golf

US romp to biggest Solheim Cup winning margin since 1996

The United States recorded their biggest victory over Europe in two decades and continued their near invincibility on home soil to retain the Solheim Cup in Iowa yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The US won by five points - 16½ to 11½ - the same margin as they started the final day in front of large and enthusiastic galleries at the Des Moines Country Club.

Europe, needing to win eight of the 12 singles matches to achieve an unlikely victory, made US captain Juli Inkster nervous with a strong start, but could only share the spoils. Both teams won five singles matches, while the other two were halved.

"It was just nerve-wracking. I felt like I had no control over anything," Inkster said after guiding her team to a second consecutive win.

She was also at the helm in Germany in 2015 and said her team's strength in depth had proved decisive.

"We just played a little better. I think we were a little deeper," she said. "I played everybody at least three times. And I think that really helps for the confidence of the team."

Europe captain Annika Sorenstam said the better team had won.

"We just got outplayed," she said. "Coming in this morning, we all knew that a small miracle needed to happen."

The US improved their winning record to 10-5 in the biennial event which started in 1990, and are now 7-1 at home - their only loss coming four years ago in Colorado.

The victory was their most dominant since the 17-11 trouncing in Wales in 1996.

The hosts' superiority in fourball matches was decisive this time. They picked up seven of eight possible points in the format, which more than made up for the slightly better European record in the foursomes (alternate shot).

Veteran Cristie Kerr led the US with three wins, no losses and one halved in four matches, raising her all-time points tally to 21, the most by any US player in Cup history.

The top-ranked European player was Swede Anna Nordqvist (3-0-1). - REUTERS

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