It was the ultimate tribute. “Simply the toughest competitor I’ve ever come up against,” said Laura Davies of Suzann Pettersen, Europe’s match-winner at Gleneagles and now a retired professional golfer.
The Norwegian called time on her career moments after holing a six-foot birdie putt on the last to beat Marina Alex in the deciding singles match on the PGA Centenary Course, admitting afterwards: , “I think this is a perfect closure – it doesn’t get any better.”
Even her captain Catriona Matthew and the Scot’s vice-captains were taken by surprise, though they agreed with that sentiment. “Good way to go!” added Davies. “She’s had a great career, she’s got nothing to prove.”
Pettersen bowed out as a four-time Solheim Cup winner, penning the perfect final chapter, especially after she’d been at the centre of controversy in Germany in 2015, when she upset the Americans over a short putt that wasn’t conceded.
“She’s gone from the villain to the hero in one fell swoop,” said Davies. “You can’t cover it up, that changed the momentum of the Solheim Cup that time. So it’s nice for her that she can come back two years later and win the cup for us with one stroke.
“I loved that it came down to her.”