Suzann Pettersen announced her retirement from professional golf in the aftermath of her sensational Solheim Cup heroics for Team Europe.

Europe trailed 13.5-11.5 with three points to play for at Gleneagles, knowing the United States needed just a half to clinch a third consecutive title.

But after Anna Nordqvist and Bronte Law made the improbable suddenly very possible, Pettersen defeated Marina Alex 1up with the final putt of the final hole of the tournament.

The Norweigan, who was one of captain Catriona Matthew's picks, having taken time out in 2017 to have a baby, considered the victory the "perfect closure" as she quit the sport.

"I think this is the perfect closure, the end for my Solheim career and for my professional career," the 38-year-old told a news conference. "It doesn't get any better. To do it with these girls...

"I didn't think I was going to be here four months ago until I met [Matthew] this summer.

"But this is it. I'm completely done. I don't have any plans starting from tomorrow. I'm closing it down tomorrow. What can I say? I'm done."

Reflecting on her crowning Solheim moment, two-time major champion Pettersen opted to deflect praise onto her team-mates.

"I just love my team-mates," she said. "If it wasn't for all of these girls, it wouldn't even have mattered with my putt coming at the end.

"It's an absolute team effort that it ended up coming down to 18th, last putt, last shot. It's the ultimate scenario for both teams really."

USA captain Juli Inkster tried to maintain a positive outlook, believing the incredible finish had been a good advert for the sport.

"I told them afterwards, 'The sun's going to come up tomorrow'," she said. "It was great for women's golf.

"We played great, yesterday [Saturday] was a brutal day of golf. Today, the sun came out and we saw a lot of golf. The Europeans played great, you tip your hat and you move on to Toledo [in 2021]."

Europe pulled of a remarkable last-gasp comeback to claim the Solheim Cup for the first time in six years against the United States at Gleneagles, winning 14.5-13.5.

USA had won the previous two tournaments and looked destined to make it three in a row late in Sunday's singles when they required just half a point to retain the cup with three still to play for.

But the home team, earlier boosted by the outstanding Georgia Hall and debutant Celine Boutier, refused to give up the dream.

The 11-9 lead secured by Hall and Boutier – who both ended with 4-0-0 records – when they followed up their stunning fourballs fightback with another pair of turnarounds had been wiped out, with sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda instead appearing set to be the heroes for USA.

Down 13.5-11.5, Europe rallied and followed up Anna Nordqvist's routine victory with a gritty Bronte Law triumph, meaning it came down to Suzann Pettersen against Marina Alex on the final hole.

The Norwegian, one of captain Catriona Matthew's picks, dropped in a nerveless putt to take the hole, the match and an incredible victory for Europe.

Europe had struck first on Sunday as Carlota Ciganda won the first match to finish at the final when Danielle Kang's putt strayed right, with the American having led heading to the 16th.

That initial lead did not last long as Nelly Korda enjoyed a sensational back nine, winning six holes, to beat Caroline Hedwall 2up.

Then came Hall and Boutier, the former two down through eight but romping past Lexi Thompson 2 and 1, while the latter recovered from her own slow start – losing the first two holes – to win by the same margin against fellow rookie Annie Park.

It appeared their efforts would be in vain, however, as the remaining matches were going the USA's way, and Brittany Altomare celebrated a dominant 5 and 4 thrashing of Jodi Ewart Shadoff, before Angel Yin edged out Azahara Munoz 2 and 1 to level the contest again.

The visitors edged nearer to the required 14 points to retain the title as Jessica Korda followed her sister's success by topping Caroline Masson 3 and 2.

Charley Hull, a star of the 2013 European team, then lost a seemingly costly half a point at the 18th to see her 1up lead over Megan Khang wiped out.

Lizette Salas' 1up success over Anne van Dam put USA on the brink, just half a point away, and even Nordqvist's crushing 4 and 3 win over Morgan Pressel looked to be a mere consolation.

But Law beat Ally McDonald 2 and 1 despite a missed putt at the 17th, with Pettersen seizing the chance to clinch victory after Alex slid her effort past the final hole.

The Solheim Cup singles will begin with the scores level at 8-8 after the United States erased their one-point deficit on day two at Gleneagles, which featured a sensational comeback from Europe's Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier.

Juli Inkster's USA, the holders of the trophy, fought back strongly in Saturday's afternoon fourballs after the spoils were shared in the morning foursomes.

On another day marred by slow play, the USA at one point held leads in all four afternoon matches and looked set to open up a handy advantage ahead of Sunday's singles.

However, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson rescued half a point for Europe against Lexi Thompson and Marina Alex, while Hall and Boutier somehow turned things around against Ally McDonald and Angel Yin.

Hall and Boutier, who have now triumphed in all three of their matches together, sensationally won each of the final five holes to earn victory, having been three down after four, four down after seven and still three down through 13.

In the other fourball matches, Brittany Altomare and Annie Park edged out Suzann Pettersen and Anne van Dam on the 18th, while Lizette Salas and Danielle Kang beat Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz 2up.

The USA opted to leave out the Korda sisters – Nelly and Jessica – in Saturday's second session despite the pair's unbeaten records, while Charley Hull was omitted by Europe.

Hull and Munoz beat Kang and Megan Khang 4 and 3 in the morning and there was a similarly emphatic victory for the Korda siblings, by 6 and 5 against Ciganda and Bronte Law.

Morgan Pressel and Alex pulled off a superb fightback to beat Anna Nordqvist and Van Dam 2 and 1, after falling four down through six, while Hall and Boutier were too strong for Salas and McDonald in a 3 and 2 victory.

Team Europe will take a one-point lead into the second day of the Solheim Cup on a day marred by controversy surrounding slow play.

Lizette Salas of the United States was twice warned for slow play, though the consensus was she was far from the only offender at Gleneagles.

"It's painfully slow out there," USA captain Juli Inkster conceded, with her team finishing the opening day trailing 4.5 - 3.5.

The deficit would have been greater had Charley Hull and Bronte Law not failed with putts on the 18th during their afternoon fourball matches.

Those missed opportunities resulted in their respective contests being halved, though Europe captain Catriona Matthew was keen to take the positives as they seek to win the cup for the first time since 2013.

"We're a point up. If we're leading at the end of each day, that would be great," Matthew said.

"I think everyone's a little disappointed, but Charley had a great putt on the last, it was just a little firm.

"It's not as if we lost it with bad play; the others birdied it. We're pleased with going in with a one-point lead."

Team Europe must embrace the pressure of the Solheim Cup if they are to overcome the United States, according to captain Catriona Matthew.

USA have won the last two editions of the event - the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup - in 2015 and 2017, and are favourites heading to Gleneagles.

However, Matthew believes Europe are more than capable of testing their rivals as long as they utilise the atmosphere of the home crowd in their favour.

Asked if she expected the crowd to be as voracious and partisan as at the Ryder Cup, Matthew told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Yes I do.

"It's very different from a regular golf crowd. Just because it's teams, the crowd get behind their team. The players love it, the more people out there screaming and shouting the better, to be honest.

"I think that’s what makes the event so special. We're expecting them to be biased with it being in Europe. [USA] are a strong side, but I feel confident in our team and we've got a really good make-up this year with some rookies and some experienced players, and they've all done really well in practice.

"Everyone's going to be nervous on that tee, so you've just got to try and embrace the crowd. I've been trying to get over to them that we'll need to get off to a fast start so you've got to enjoy the first tee but be focused and ready to go."

American Danielle Kang made no secret of her desire to retain the Solheim Cup, claiming in a news conference on Wednesday that she wished to "make players cry".

It is a comment which Matthew feels will only fuel Europe's motivation.

"That’s extra motivation for our team. I don't think there’s anyone on our side that hasn't seen that," she added.

"Not that we need motivating. The players don't really need to be motivated. It's just about keeping them relaxed, keeping them loose, be there for them and support them, try and have a good atmosphere and make sure everyone's getting on.

"If you have good morale you're almost 1-0 up going onto the first tee."

HOW IT WORKS

The Solheim Cup has the same format as the Ryder Cup, with matches played over three days. There are 28 matches in total - eight foursomes, eight four-balls and 12 singles.

In total, there are 12 players on each side, with America's elite and Europe's best going head-to-head.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Solheim Cup has traditionally been seen as the pinnacle of team play in women's golf. However, the growing dominance of Asian players at the top of the game means those competing for glory this weekend are not necessarily the cream of the tour.

While the USA have five top-20 players in their team, Europe have only one - Spain's Carlota Ciganda. There are currently eight South Koreans in the top 20.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.