The nerveless Charley Hull and the steely-eyed Suzann Pettersen sent the crowd wild with delight on Saturday as they pulled off one of the finest comebacks in the 25-year history of the Solheim Cup.
The European pair were staring defeat in the face at four down with seven to play but a scorching run of five birdies in the last seven holes helped them defeat a stunned Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer one up in a rip-roaring foursomes.
“I told Charley, let’s throw darts at the pins and stay aggressive,” Pettersen told reporters at the women’s version ofthe Ryder Cup.
“This was a robbery… this goes down in the (record) books. Charley is awesome, it’s fantastic to play with her.”
The Americans appeared to be in complete control around the turn, conjuring a series of spectacular shots to keep Hull and Pettersen at bay.
Creamer sank an 18-foot putt to save par at the ninth before watching her chip lip-out on the next hole and then wedging stone dead for her team’s fifth birdie of the round at the 11th.
The home fans tried to lift their players with cries of ‘Let’s go Europe, let’s go’ and by tinkering with the 1960s Beatles tune ‘All you need is love’ with a chorus of ‘All you need is Hull’.
The 19-year-old responded by slotting home a 15-foot putt at the 12th to give the Europeans hope.
Creamer then missed a four-foot birdie putt at the 14th and Hull rose to the occasion again, almost holing her tee shot at the par-three next amid deafening cheers from the packed galleries.
Pettersen followed up by chipping to three feet for a certain birdie on 16 before the Norwegian produced another dazzling approach at the 17th to leave Hull with a nerve-tingling four-foot putt that the teenager coolly converted.
Suddenly, it became the match everyone wanted to watch, with the fans lining the fairways 12 to 15 deep and the patrons in the hospitality tents packing the balconies.
Hull arrowed her approach to within seven feet at the last and world No 8 Pettersen, the highest-ranked player in the European team, was calmness personified as she knocked in the putt to prompt a seismic roar from the crowd.
The European pair celebrated with a hug and an excited high-five before being engulfed by their caddies, captainCarin Koch and members of her support team.
It maintained Hull’s 100 percent record this week and took her overall Solheim Cup total to five victories from six matches.
“The momentum changed at the 15th when she almost had a hole-in-one,” said Pressel who marked Hull’s ice-cool tee shot by sportingly high-fiving the teenager when the players strode on to the green.
“Birdying the last four holes in any kind of play is very good, let alone in alternate shots,” added Pressel. “They hit great shots and made the putts, and the last four holes hurt.”