England's Georgia Hall, who won all four of her matches, looks back on Europe's incredible victory over the Americans at Gleneagles
Some partnerships seem so obvious they’re too good to be true, some take a bit of digging out and a special kind of insight. Catriona Matthew got so much right at Gleneages but putting Georgia Hall and rookie Celine Boutier together was maybe her best of the lot.
The two of them won all three of their matches before getting Europe off to a flying start in the singles. Both ended the week with perfect 4-0-0 records.
The following day Hall is in the London offices of the Schoen Clinic as part of a new partnership with the health providers. And she’s in good company alongside fellow Open champions Henrik Stenson, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington.
We caught up with the 23-year-old to reflect on a huge few days in Scotland…
Did you think you would be paired with Celine?
I had a feeling as we were paired together in Canada and played together for three rounds there. And then we played practice rounds and Beany (Matthew) texted me some options for the foursomes. I didn’t know her that well, she’s quite shy but I thought we were similar personalities and similar players. She’s incredibly steady and has the best chipping I’ve ever seen from anyone.
I hit the long irons in and she holed the putts. I struck the ball really well and it was a very long course so that was important and it worked out well.
Did you know you wouldn’t be playing all five matches?
We were told everyone was playing the first day and we knew the foursomes for the Saturday on the Friday night and then we were going to see how it goes. We won that one and were then sent out in the fourballs when the weather was at its worst.
We didn’t play well on the front nine but then turned it around and to get a point on Saturday night was massive. We were two down with four to play and the only point we were leading was going down the 18th.
What was the dynamic like between the pair of you?
We were focused on our own games but inside we were mentally very strong together. We had casual chats and had a laugh. She was a very easy partner to have and she’s also a great putter. When she wasn’t holing them they always looked like going in.
There was a lot of talk on social media about the pace of play, what did you make of that?
Slow play has been an issue before the Solheim Cup so I don’t think it should take anything way from what happened. The conditions on Saturday were horrendous, sometimes the trees would block out the winds so you were trying to work that out so it wasn’t easy.
Most players are fine, it’s just a few who are a bit slow and they might have had to wait for a ruling. It needs to improve but the Solheim isn’t the place to talk about it. We were playing fourballs half the time so it is going to be slower, there are a lot of tactics and discussions involved.
It didn’t really feel slow. The Sunday felt very fast.
What was the feeling inside the team room when the singles order came out?
We thought it was quite a good line-up. I was very happy with my match up with Lexi, she’s a great player and the World No. 3 but I was ready for it and looking forward to it. I was second out two years ago and third on Sunday. I’m always eager to get going and try and put some blue on the board.
We had some motivational videos from our families for each player on the Saturday night. It was lovely and a couple of players were tearing up.
Were you aware of any injury to Lexi?
I had no idea, she put her own ball on the tee on the 1st and then a physio came out at the next hole with a foam roller. I didn’t know what was going on. She was hitting the ball very hard like normal so I don’t know if it was a bit of a niggle.
What did you think when you heard that Pettersen might be picked?
I didn’t know that she was going to get a pick, I found out when Beany told us the selections. She had nothing to prove as she’s an amazing player and, if you were going to pick anyone to hole a putt to win the Solheim Cup, it would be Suzann.
Do you think she’s done?
I think so, I don’t think she would have said it otherwise but what a fantastic way to finish your career. I only found out when she said it after her win, like everybody else.
I’ll miss her a lot and she’ll be missed by the game but I’m sure she’ll be around.
She might be your captain in two years’ time?
How special was this year’s captain?
Catriona did a great job with the pairings and everything else and, to win on Scottish soil with one of the best teams we’ve ever had, I’m so happy for her.
What you see with Catriona is what you get. Inside she is so determined but she might not show that, she’s a very caring person and loves the game and her home country so when Suzann holed that putt it was so emotional. You couldn’t have written it any better.
Who was the last to bed?
Probably Bronte, I don’t drink so I had water. We all had a drink out of the trophy, everyone was dancing and enjoying the win.
Georgia Hall has partnered with leading healthcare provider Schoen Clinic London. Schoen Clinic London, a world renowned innovator in the treatment and prevention of sports related injuries, is lending its expertise to benefit some of the world’s leading golfers including Hall, Henrik Stenson, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington. Visit www.schoen-clinic.co.uk to learn more.