Charley Hull on her Solheim playing partners and gimmes
A second Solheim Cup appearance, and a different outcome but it was another unforgettable week for lots of reasons.
In lots of ways, despite the final result, I enjoyed it as much as Colorado. I knew more what to expect, so I could embrace moments like the 1st tee, which is a bit special, and all the team get-togethers.
Personally it was a great week. To be the only player to play in all five matches was a real thrill and there were some incredible moments and lots to look back on and smile about.
I’m already looking forward to trying to win the cup back in 2017.
We had discussed the gimmes together throughout the match and, at that point, an 18-inch putt was very important I practised a lot with Mel Reid and a bit with Suzann Pettersen so it wasn’t a surprise to partner them. I get on really well with Mel off the course and she’s great to play with.
She’s very passionate and is creative and aggressive with her shots. I like to think I’m also passionate but I try to keep my emotions in check as I find I play better that way.
When I was younger I used to get really excited and fist pump a lot but that might then affect my next shot.
I didn’t play in the foursomes two years ago, and the last time I had played a competitive round of foursomes was at the Curtis Cup at Nairn in 2012, but I feel like I am a different player now.
Nobody really knew my game two years ago but I am more mature now and Mel and I won Europe’s first point of the match.
Then I was out with Gwladys Nocera who I hadn’t practised with but we’ve played a lot on the LET. She is so straight and so steady she is the dream partner in lots of ways.
She is inwardly so determined and we had five birdies to start the back nine which was good enough to add another point.
Solheim Cup captain Carin Koch says Petterson ignored her recommendation regarding ‘Gimmegate’
I had never played a round with Suzann Pettersen before arriving in Germany but I said to my caddy at the start of the week that I would love to play with her. We played really well in practice, have similar games, and in our first match, against Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, were four down after 11.
Suzann kept saying ’come on kiddo, we can still do this’ and we did. At the 17th we had the biggest fist pump ever after a third straight birdie and I then hit it close on 18 and Suzann holed the putt. It was an incredible turnaround and when we got back in the team room I was shaking and dizzy.
I counted our score afterwards and we were seven under where normally, in foursomes, you would be pleased with level par.
Then we took on Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome in the match that everyone is still talking about. When the light stopped play we were one down after Alison had made birdie on the 15th and I missed from inside her.
The following morning I birdied 16 and then we came to the 17th green. I putted first from 25 feet and missed. I didn’t realise Brittany had gone in the water so Suzann went next and just missed. When Suzann was putting Alison was reading her putt so I didn’t want to walk over to where she had been standing.
So Alison then putted and I walked over to Suzann. We had discussed the gimmes together throughout the match and, at that point, an 18-inch putt was very important. The day before I had been asked to make a six-inch birdie by Angela Stanford and Alison so it does happen.
On the 18th fairway everything was flying around but Suzann was pretty set on her decision and she is my partner and my team-mate so I was going to stick by her whatever happened.
Playing the 18th was all a bit of a blur. I had to back off the shot as everyone was talking so much so I was pretty proud of myself to hit a great shot in to 15 feet but, in the end, I didn’t get to have a putt.
It would have been amazing to win all five matches but fair play to Cristie Kerr who had nine birdies in 11 holes. If I had been playing anyone else I might have won but that is matchplay.
The day before the matches got underway I managed to record my first ever hole-in-one.
And, better still, it was in front of my idol Annika Sorenstam and Suzann.
It wasn’t exactly ideal conditions, it was raining and cold, it was a back right pin and the hole, the 3rd, was playing three clubs longer than normal.
My 6-iron pitched beyond the hole, spun back and then the crowds, who were incredible all week, went mad.
A good way to start the week!
Comment: This will be the most talked-about Solheim in history