In the great debate about Tiger Woods's potty mouth, his apologists always point out that his profanity is merely a reflection of how much he cares. If that's the metric, then the U.S. team really, really wanted to win Saturday's final match. After Wie singed the edge of the cup with a 20-foot birdie try on 18 she had an almost feral look in her eye, and stalking off the green she growled an f word loud enough to produce a few titters among her teammates. "That's what she's learned hanging around these crazy girls," said assistant captain Kelly Robbins. When Hjorth missed a six-footer for birdie in the gloaming to give the Americans the victory and deadlock the Cup at eight points apiece, Pressel bellowed, "It's about f---ing time we win one of these matches on 18!"
Inkster, the acting den mother, broke off an interview to admonish her teammates: "Hey, guys, easy on the f bombs!"
When the singles began the next morning, the Americans' language was a tad more restrained, but not their play. Creamer set the tone from the leadoff spot with a 3-and-2 thumping of Pettersen, the world No. 6 who wore the goat horns after going 1--4. (Creamer now has a gaudy 8-2-4 record, including 3--0 in singles.) Wie was out third against one of Europe's best and most experienced players—Alfredsson, 44, the Euros' Solheim captain two years ago. In the most electric sequence of the week, Alfredsson pured her second shot on the par-5 2[superscript nd] hole to within four feet; then, from 213 yards out, Wie responded by knocking it inside her opponent's ball, what she later called "the best shot of my life, ever." When Alfredsson yipped her putt, Wie's eagle won the hole. The back-and-forth match was all square arriving at the tee of the 15th hole, a watery par-5. With Alfredsson in the trees off the tee, Wie showed her new killer instinct, launching a 305-yard bomb that set up the easy birdie that propelled her back into the lead. Still 1 up on the tee of the par-5 18th, Wie smashed another perfect drive and then chased after it like a cocky home run hitter. A laser to the middle of the green assured her of a birdie and the victory. "I played with as much passion as I could, as much desire and hunger as I wanted to," she said.
The remaining Europeans fought hard but were undone by a breathtaking series of American rallies on the back nine. In match four Europe's aging stalwart Laura Davies blew up on the last two holes to hand a half point to Brittany Lang, 24, who had an undefeated debut at 1-0-2. In the fifth match Inkster was 2 down on the 14th tee, but the Hall of Famer simply refused to lose, going on a birdie binge to pull out a hard-fought halve with Gwladys Nocera. In match nine Kim was all square on the 11th tee but won two of the next four holes, versus Elosegui, giving Kim a rousing 3--1 week. The 21-year-old Pressel clinched the Cup by downing Nordqvist to finish off a 2-0-1 showing.
Even after the outcome was determined, the final two matches played on, and members of the European team gathered on the edge of the green to forlornly watch the finish. "Anyone got a fag?" asked one of the caddies, and a pack of Winston Lights was passed around for a final smoke before the players were to face the firing squad, in this case the European press.
Finally the 11th Solheim Cup was in the books, 16--12 to the U.S., and the Americans were free to really whoop it up, beginning with some funky dance moves on the edge of the 18th green. Watching her daughter drop it way down low, Dianna Kim said, "I have no idea where Christina learned to dance like that." Then, en masse, the young Americans began running laps around the green, waving the Stars and Stripes to the delight of the massive galleries. Leading the charge, a huge grin on her face, was Michelle Wie.
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