Europe Solheim
Europe celebrate with the Solheim Cup. Image Credit: PA

Gleneagles: Suzann Pettersen hit the final putt of the Solheim Cup, and as it turned out, the final putt of her career.

Pettersen holed a seven-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Gleneagles as Europe won the last three matches to capture the Solheim Cup on Sunday, 14 1/2-13 1/2, in the most tension-filled finish in Solheim Cup history.

When it was over, the 38-year-old from Norway announced her retirement from professional golf.

“Yeah, this is it. I’m completely done,” she said. “It doesn’t get any better.”

The Americans were going for a third straight victory and led by two points with three matches on the course at Gleneagles, two of them tied. Anna Nordqvist closed out Morgan Pressel in 15 holes. Bronte Law took the lead with a clutch birdie on the 16th and then won her match over Ally McDonald on the next hole. Moments later, it came down to Pettersen’s match against Marina Alex.

The American missed from 10 feet. Pettersen holed the putt, and the celebration was on.

“Never been a better moment,” European captain Catriona Matthew said.

Matthew first signed up Pettersen as a vice-captain until deciding to make her a captain’s pick for a team she felt lacked experience. Pettersen had played only two tournaments since November 2017, taking time off for injury and for the birth of son Herman.

After being mobbed by her teammates on the 18th green, an emotional Pettersen held Herman in her arms and kissed him.

Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier won their matches, going 4-0 for the week for Europe. Lexi Thompson, the top qualifier for the American, went 0-2-2 and lost to Hall in her Sunday singles match.

Over in the United States, Joaquin Niemann became the first player from Chile to win on the PGA Tour, closing with a six-under 64 for a six-stroke victory in A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

The 20-year-old Niemann entered the final round of the season opener with a two-stroke lead and held off challenges from Tom Hoge and Richy Werenski. He is the first 54-hole leader to win at The Greenbrier since the tournament began in 2010.

Niemann birdied the final three holes and finished at 21-under 259 at Old White TPC.

It marks the first year since 1931 that there has been more than one PGA Tour winner under 21. Matthew Wolff won the 3M Open in June at 20 years, 2 months.

Hoge shot 65 and finished alone in second at 15-under 265. Werenski missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th and then took bogey on the par-3 closing hole, knocking him into a four-way tie for third. The bogey on the final hole cost him just over $300,000.

The victory gives Niemann a spot in the Masters next year, where he will play for the first time as a pro. Niemann played in 2018 from his victory in the Latin American Amateur Championship. He shot 63 in the final round in his native Chile.

Over in Amsterdam, Sergio Garcia won for the first time in 11 months, closing with a three-under 69 for a one-shot victory in the 100th edition of the KLM Open.

Garcia extended his streak to nine consecutive years with at least one victory. It was his first win since the Andalucia Valderrama Masters last October. Garcia finished at 18-under 270 to hold off Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark.

Garcia kissed his young daughter, Azalea, and threw her up in the air on the 18th green after holing a short par putt to seal his victory.

“Great week, amazing,” Garcia said. “We had a great week and it’s great to win again.”

The Spaniard played it safe on the final hole, just moments after the 18-year-old Hojgaard (68) had narrowly missed an eagle putt to finish 17 under.

Matt Wallace (68) of England finished third.