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USA hold off Europe to successfully defend Solheim Cup

100   //    21 Aug 2017, 01:37 IST
JuliInkster - Cropped
USA Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster

Lizette Salas knocked in the decisive putt as the United States held off the stubborn challenge of Europe to retain the Solheim Cup at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

The hosts came into Sunday's singles in Iowa boasting a commanding 10.5 - 5.5 lead and that stood at 13.5 - 9.5 when Salas lined up her par putt on the 18th green.

Already 1up, a half point and the successful retention of the trophy was in the bag, but Salas rolled it in from around three feet to close out victory over Jodi Ewart Shadoff and see the USA reach the magical 14.5 point mark with four matches still on the course.

Earlier in the day, the hosts edged half a point closer to their target when a ding-dong opening match between Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist was halved.

It looked as though the Swede would get her team off to the start they craved when she moved 4up through nine holes, but Thompson produced a stunning display to go eight under through the next seven to move 1up.

But after Thompson missed a short putt for the match on 17, Nordqvist birdied the last to claim a half.

Although that was something of a disappointment for the US following Thompson's stirring comeback, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr softened the blow by wrapping up wins over Georgia Hall and Mel Reid, 1up and 2 and 1 respectively.

Catriona Matthew, Caroline Masson and Carlota Ciganda did get some blue on the board before Angel Yin effectively secured USA's defence of the trophy as her half with Karine Icher took the hosts to 13.5 points, at which stage Salas was 2up on Ewart Shadoff with two to play.

The European ensured it went down the final hole by pulling one back, but Salas kept her cool to allow the American party to get into full swing.

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