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solheim ryder cup

Should we settle for draws in team matches?

US Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis suggested the event’s 14-14 draw could’ve been decided by a playoff, which got our minds working at NCG towers…

 

US captain Stacy Lewis said it would be “better TV” and a “better experience for the fans” if a playoff decided the Solheim Cup stalemate from last week.

Europe retained the trophy when drawing 14-14 with Team USA after home favourite Carlota Ciganda holed the decisive putt against Nelly Korda.

As Suzann Pettersen’s side held the trophy from the 2021 matches in Ohio, it will stay on the continent until the 2024 Solheim Cup in Virginia.

“I was sitting there at the closing ceremony next to Mollie (Marcoux Samaan, LPGA commissioner),” she said.

“We were talking about whether there should be – when it is a tie, should it be a playoff, should it be ‘a retain the Cup?’ 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 – whether it was a team playoff or something like that, I think that would be pretty cool.”

This was the first-ever draw in the event’s history and it has only happened twice at the Ryder Cup.

Should there be a decider if the Solheim Cup results in a draw, and the Ryder Cup too? Should retaining the trophy be held in the same regard as winning it?

NCG’s Tour team cracked their heads together and debated the topic:

solheim ryder cup

Team Europe earned the right to keep the trophy

I have to ask the question, writes Matt Coles. Would Stacy Lewis have made the same comments if the Americans had retained the Solheim Cup on Sunday?

The fact the latest edition of the Solheim Cup was the first to end in a tie shows how close the two teams were, and for me, a tied team event is a perfect way to end things.

For the Europeans who won on American soil two years ago, being able to retain the trophy after this 14-14 draw is a testament to their efforts at the Inverness Club.

If we briefly hop over to the Ryder Cup, ‘The Concession’ of 1969 when Jack Nicklaus picked up Tony Jacklin’s marker on 18 at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s is one of the most famous moments in the event’s history.

Another draw happened again two decades later at The Belfry, this time with the Europeans retaining the trophy.

Golf is not the only sport where a draw results in possession of the trophy. For instance, Australia retained The Ashes after a 2-2 draw across five test matches in England earlier this summer.

The retention of the Ryder and Solheim Cups is a thing of history and something that does not need changing.

If you draw a fight as boxing’s world heavyweight champion, do you lose the belt? No.

The celebrations that we saw on Sunday after Ciganda won her match showed exactly why both competitions should stay exactly as they are.

Celebrate all night, but Europe didn’t win the Solheim Cup

It’s a tricky one, writes Matt Chivers. I understand if you hold the trophy from the last event and if you don’t get beat in the next one, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep it.

But there is no reason why America should feel any different to Europe after this Solheim Cup – because they weren’t beaten. The score is evidence that they didn’t lose.

Ciganda holed the decisive putt and celebrated how you’d expect her to, but Korda’s teammates ensured they didn’t lose the match by picking up the same amount of points as Team Europe did.

A big storyline approaching the week was ‘Can Europe complete their first-ever Solheim Cup hat trick?’ The answer was no because they didn’t win the Solheim Cup for the third time in a row.

After such a tense singles session last Sunday, perhaps the rapturous celebrations at Finca Cortesin were for avoiding defeat rather than claiming victory.

I’m sure if I was part of a team that had just retained a prestigious trophy, I’d also be jumping in a swimming pool and drinking through the night.

But Suzann Pettersen did no better job than Stacy Lewis last week. The teams collided to produce a stunning match that didn’t find a winner.

I don’t think there should be a playoff or anything to that effect, I just don’t believe retaining the trophy via a draw is the same as winning the trophy outright.

Do you think there should be a decider after a Solheim/Ryder Cup draw? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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