Team USA captain Juli Inkster was quick to pay tribute to both groups after viewing the Solheim Cup is snatched by Team Europe from the Americans’ hands in dramatic fashion at Gleneagles.
Following a see-saw series of 12 singles matches on the final day, it all came down to the last putt on the last green, together with Suzann Pettersen holing a birdie putt to border outside Marina Alex 1up and clinch a 14.5-13.5 win for Europe.
“We watched a lot of great matches out there,” said Inkster. “But you know everything, they only played a bit better than us. However, as you know that’s the way it moves in golf.
“We had a excellent time. We had six rookies on the market which played good. I think they all got at least a point or a point. And I could not ask any one of those girls, the way that they grinded through that weather.
“They played a half a point . Nevertheless, it’s excellent for women’s golf and I am really pleased with my group. I’m really proud to be able to represent the USA.
“And you know what, Suzann created a wonderful putt. And you understand , the Solheim Cup doesn’t come down to this putt, but it was left by her today. To go ahead and roll which putt in, it’s impressive. That’s why she’s Suzann.”
Inkster also believes the grade of the competition in Scotland this week will allow the women’s game and the players command respect.
“I think a good deal of individuals underestimate women’s golf plus they do not give it the credit we deserve,” she explained. “But these women are athletes. They are excellent at what they do. And it irks me the way we always must have a back seat because I don’t think these ladies must take a back seat.
“Not only their golfing, but the way that they handled themselves and who they are. We must grind for everything we do.”
Inkster was quick to console her team after some of these were in tears after moving close to retaining the trophy.
“We had a few tears. And I said it is okay. But the main point is that we had and now you know that, the Europeans played good. And we are likely to have a fantastic celebration.
“However, the sun’s going to appear tomorrow. This will provide you with men fire and fuel for the following two years to work at your match, to be on this team, to try to get that cup backagain.
“So, I simply said, hold up your heads because you should not be disappointed. You represented that the LPGA. You represented the USA and [with] good sportsmanship and ethics.”
After leading them to victory at 2015 and 2017, inkster captained that the USA team for a third time, but she affirmed she will not be back accountable at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio in 2021.
“I’m 2-1, I think I will quit while I am ahead,” she said.
“I’m very happy where I am at. I’ve had the honour to do this three times and it’s been an honor. It’s not about the wins and losses; it’s all about the memories and the camaraderie.”