Suzann Pettersen quits golf moments after Solheim Cup-winning putt
And why the devil not after the Norwegian announced that her winning putt there in the 16th Solheim Cup not only marked the end of her career in the biennial event but also the end of the road for her as a professional golfer?
“Yeah, I think this is a perfect closure – the end for my Solheim career and also a nice ‘the end’ for my professional career. It doesn’t get any better,” said the 38-year-old as she savoured her part in one of the most incredible finishes in either this event or the Ryder Cup.
“I’m done. I don’t have any plans starting from tomorrow. I’m closing it down tomorrow. It doesn’t get any better. With the home of golf, Scotland, the big crowds, as big as it’s ever been. Beany [Matthew] being here. This is an ultimate scenario for winning the Solheim Cup back.”
Pettersen was chosen by captain Matthew despite having played just twice since November 2017 before the wild cards were named, since when she had finished 59th in the CP Women’s Open and missed the cut in the Cambia Portland Classic. However, she delivered when it mattered in her ninth appearance in the event by holing from six feet for a winning birdie on the 18th hole of her match with Marina Alex to give Europe victory by 14½ points to 13½.
“By a little,” interjected Matthew after Pettersen was asked if she felt she had justified her pick. “Thank you, Beany,” said Pettersen, smiling to that. “It’s a dream come true to pull this off here in Scotland, in front of these crowds, for Beany, here at Gleneagles. Also that it came down to the final putt. I thought Bronte was in behind me in the fairway, but she’s so good, she closes it out on 17.
“And I actually didn’t know that it was the putt. But I knew it was so close because Beany came up on the 18th tee, and I’m, like, ‘okay, I understand; you don’t have to say much’. But it was fun.
“And to do it with these girls, I never thought I was going to be here four months ago until I met Beany this summer. And to have the confidence from Beany to give me the go, yeah, this is it. I’m completely done.”
This was Pettersen’s fourth winning appearance in the event. It made amends for the bitter disappointment of having to pull out of the match in Des Moines in 2017 due to injury. It was also a much happier experience than St Leon Rot in 2015, when she was at the centre of controversy over a short putt one of her opponents thought had been conceded but hadn’t been.
In between the Des Moines match and this one, she became a mother for the first time. Son Herman was here and mum enjoyed a hug with him amid the celebrations on the 18th green. “Obviously life has changed for me,” she said. “I can’t really walk out on the course thinking of him even though he’s with me in heart. But to see him afterwards, it’s just surreal.
“I mean life’s changed so much for me over the last year. He’s obviously the biggest thing that’s ever happened for me. But now I know what it feels like to win as a mom. I’m going to leave it like that.”