Even In Defeat, I Salute Team USA’s Effort At Solheim Cup 2013

Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel console each other after Team USA loss (click to enlarge)

Although I often report the results of LPGA events, I am not a reporter. I am a blogger. As such, I am free to post about my feelings concerning tournaments more freely and openly. I fully congratulate Team Europe on their impressive and dominant victory at Solheim Cup 2013, but there will be plenty of folks writing stories about them in the days to come, stories awash in effusive and well-deserved praise. So instead, I choose to stand up and salute my fellow Americans, the 15 women, 12 players, 2 assistant captains and 1 captain who poured their hearts into trying to bring the Solheim Cup back to the USA. While they were unable to do so, I didn’t see loss. I saw a veteran multiple winner like Brittany Lincicome show tremendous respect to newcomer Lizette Salas in their pairing. Some veterans wouldn’t have the humility to ask a rookie for advice on shots. I saw Michelle Wie, whom some say didn’t belong in this year’s Solheim Cup, show that she very much did belong. If the Michelle that shows up for Solheim showed up every week, her results would elevate to championship level. The same goes for Brittany Lang. I saw the evolution of Paula Creamer into a leader on this team. She lifted Stacy Lewis in their pairing. She might one day in the future lift Team USA as a captain. I saw how much of themselves the rookies Gerina Piller, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas put into this competition and how devastated they were with the results. They might be new to Solheim, but they get it. Completely. I saw Cristie Kerr come out after the weather delay and keep fighting, never giving up or backing down.

Morgan Pressel and Angela Stanford (click to enlarge)

A cynic, or maybe just somebody who doesn’t care about Team USA, might say that all they saw was Team Europe administer a thrashing. Fair enough. I’d call that myopic. Sure, Team Europe won this week. It’s sports. Anything can happen. They could play again next week with a different outcome. That’s not really my point. If you can’t take away a victory, and Team USA cannot, what can they take away? I don’t think the answer is nothing. I think for a few days 12 women who are competitors throughout the tour season became sisters, united in a common bond. This is a difficult experience for them. Kind words alone won’t help them feel any better. However, they can use this letdown to become stronger, to become tougher, and maybe to prepare more thoroughly next time. Not all of them will be back in 2015, but those that will be should share this experience with each other and the newcomers that year. Figure out what went right and what went wrong (I’d say they need to work on dealing with green speed and putting, as well as holding leads down the stretch) and work on making sure what was a liability this week doesn’t repeat itself.

Stacy Lewis holds the Flag (click to enlarge)

Cristie Kerr. Paula Creamer. Brittany Lang. Morgan Pressel. Michelle Wie. Gerina Piller. Lizette Salas. Jessica Korda. Lexi Thompson. Brittany Lincicome. Angela Stanford. Stacy Lewis. I saw 12 women play with honor and passion for their country. They did nothing to lower my respect for each of them. Of course, I would have loved to have seen them win the Solheim Cup. But they handled defeat with class. Nobody hid. They were there for each other. For a sport that embodies individual play, the Americans embraced and became the definition of a team. Sometimes teams win. Sometimes teams lose. However, win or lose you play for each other. You ride the highs and lows with each other. They did that. And I, for one, am proud of them.

Player Name Status Player Name Status Hole
Match 1
USA Stacy Lewis Halved vs Europe Anna Nordqvist Halved F
Match 2
USA Paula Creamer lost to Europe Charley Hull 5 & 4 F
Match 3
USA Brittany Lang 2 & 1 defeated Europe Azahara Munoz F
Match 4
USA Morgan Pressel lost to Europe Carlota Ciganda 4 & 2 F
Match 5
USA Michelle Wie lost to Europe Caroline Hedwall 1-up F
Match 6
USA Gerina Piller Halved vs Europe Catriona Matthew Halved F
Match 7
USA Lizette Salas Halved vs Europe Suzann Pettersen Halved F
Match 8
USA Jessica Korda Halved vs Europe Giulia Sergas Halved F
Match 9
USA Lexi Thompson 4 & 3 defeated Europe Caroline Masson F
Match 10
USA Brittany Lincicome lost to Europe Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3 & 2 F
Match 11
USA Angela Stanford lost to Europe Beatriz Recari 2 & 1 F
Match 12
USA Cristie Kerr Halved vs Europe Karine Icher Halved F

TEAM USA

STACY LEWIS

PAULA CREAMER

BRITTANY LANG

MICHELLE WIE

GERINA PILLER

LIZETTE SALAS

JESSICA KORDA

LEXI THOMPSON

BRITTANY LINCICOME

ANGELA STANFORD

CRISTIE KERR

TEAM EUROPE

GROUP CELEBRATION PICTURES

Liselotte Neumann, Charley Hull

Suzann Pettersen, Liselotte Neumann

Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari

Charley Hull, Jodi Ewart Shadoff

Caroline Masson

Jodi Ewart Shadoff

Jodi Ewart Shadoff

Charley Hull, Jodi Ewart Shadoff

Caroline Hedwall, Annika Sorenstam, Liselotte Neumann, Carin Koch, Anna Nordqvist

Liselotte Neumann

Caroline Hedwall, Anna Nordqvist, Carlota Ciganda, Carin Koch, Liselotte Neumann

Liselotte Neumann gets a ride!

Caroline Hedwall, Sophie Gustafson

Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Charley Hull

Caroline Hedwall, 5-0-0

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