Inkster revels in USA playing free and loose in Solheim Cup triumph
USA Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster believes a relaxed approach helped her players successfully defend the trophy over Europe.
Juli Inkster revealed how "banter" and "lots of ping pong" helped the United States to victory over Europe and the successful retention of the Solheim Cup.
Having enjoyed much the better of the first two days at Des Moines Golf and Country Club, the hosts entered Sunday's singles with a more than healthy 10.5 - 5.5 advantage.
Although Europe threatened a comeback by getting plenty of blue on the board midway through the final day's action, USA were able to stifle their resurgence and it was left to Lizette Salas to roll in the decisive putt to get her side to the 14.5 mark with four matches still to be completed.
The 12 singles contests were ultimately shared 6-6, meaning the hosts wrapped up an overall 16.5 - 11.5 success.
"They were great. I'm glad we had the lead because Europe came out fighting. But we did enough to get the victory," Inkster, who guided her team to a more nerve-racking 14.5 - 13.5 win in Germany two years ago, told Sky Sports.
"I've got a great group of gals. We had great preparation. I tried to not make things too regimented. We had lots of banter and played lots of ping pong.
"The came in on good form, ready to play. They knew what the course demanded of them but they had great preparation and we played loose, free and for each other."
Inkster's opposite number Annika Sorenstam, meanwhile, was magnanimous in defeat as she acknowledged Europe had been second best across the three days.
"I am extremely proud. We fought so hard. It wasn't easy coming in today we decided to give it all we had and fight to the end and we did that. I want to congratulate the US team, they played awesome golf," she said.
"I am very honoured [to be captain]. We had a great leadership team and players to work with and I couldn't have asked for anymore.
"I am not someone to look back. We did everything we could. The team was extremely helpful and cooperative. Sometimes you are outplayed and that is what happened this week."
But the Swede ruled out following the example of Inkster and returning for another shot at captaincy in 2019.
"I said this was a one time thing for me. It is time to move the torch to the next person," she said.