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US captain Stacy Lewis says the thrilling 14-14 Solheim Cup tie “felt like a win” for her side, as she questioned whether future playoffs would boost the entertainment value of the contest.
Europe retained the trophy after an afternoon of astonishing drama at Finca Cortesin in Sunday’s singles matches.
Home hero Carlota Ciganada claimed the vital 14th point to spark wild European celebrations as captain Suzann Pettersen revelled in an almighty comeback after the 4-0 whitewash in Friday’s foursomes.
And while this was the first ever tie in the Solheim Cup‘s 33-year history, it certainly felt like a victory parade for Pettersen and her team on the Costa del Sol.
But after Europe kept the cup in the third straight match, there was the inevitable debate over whether a stalemate offered a satisfactory finale to what was such an epic contest.
US skipper Lewis is conflicted.
“We were talking about whether, when it is a tie, should it be a play-off, should it be ‘retain the Cup’,” she explained.
“I don’t know. I mean, it obviously would be better TV. It would be a better experience for the fans if there was a team play-off or something like that, I think that would be pretty cool.
“But if you want to stick with the history of the event and history of what the men do as well, you probably stick with retaining the cup. I don’t know how I feel about that either way, to be honest.”
This felt like a huge opportunity missed for the American team after such a dominant start, but Europe were riding a wave of momentum with huge home support over the weekend.
And pride was the overriding emotion for Lewis, who believes her young team are now ready to reclaim the trophy with the match back on US soil in Virginia in 12 months’ time.
“The whole week in general feels like a win,” Lewis said. “These girls played their hearts out. They just kept fighting and kept fighting, and they literally did everything I could have asked of them this week.
“I made them all cry, which was not my intent. I just told them how proud I was of them and just the fact that, I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but it was a tie.
“I think that’s a lot for this team to build off of, especially coming over here, into this environment with five rookies, a very young and inexperienced team, this week was really good for them.”
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