As I reflect on last week and the last year and a half, I cannot stop smiling. What an amazing experience and what an honor it was to represent the European Solheim Cup team in Des Moines. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that this super week exceeded my expectations. I’m lucky to have played in the event eight times and been a vice captain three times, so needless to say the Solheim Cup has a special place in my heart.
It all started in 1990 in Lake Nona, Florida, which is coincidently where we make our home today. It was a small event with little sponsorship and attendance. However, here we are over 25 years later and it has grown to be one of the biggest events in women’s sports and definitely a highlight for the golfing world. A recent report stated that TV ratings were at an all-time high – more than 7.3 million people witnessed the amazing golf played by both teams.
Congratulations again to Juli Inkster and her team on a wonderful performance. They really stepped it up and elevated the competition to the highest level. It’s not very often you lose a best-ball match shooting 10-under-par, but that happened to our team. It’s a prime example of why I truly believe it when I say that we, Europe, didn’t fail. The US team was just better this time.
As I said in the post-event press conference, sometimes it’s not about the results, but more about the journey and the memories we built together. Five days later, Mike and I are still reminiscing about the week with our new “family.” We entered last week as competitors and teammates, but we left as family. Whether you were a player, caddie, helper or captain, you were and will always be part of our family. From the cocktail reception early in the week to our party after the closing ceremony, we shared some incredible moments. We shared intense moments where crucial decisions had to be made. We shared laughs on the first tee and our locker and team rooms. We shared tears of joy and sorrow. We inspired each other and motivated each other. We sang songs on the bus and toasted each other each night. We cheered each other while acknowledging our opponents. Bottom line is we gave it all we had together as a team. Those moments are the reason why the Solheim Cup is so special will never be forgotten. Those are the reasons I will always cherish our team!
The next Solheim Cup is set for 2019 at Gleneagles in Scotland. But before we begin thinking about and analyzing the next match up, let’s all stop and smile together and agree that women’s golf was the biggest winner in the 2017 edition. All 24 of those ladies put on quite a show!