Suzann Pettersen announced her retirement from pro golf on Sunday. In and of itself, that would be meaningful for Norway’s greatest pro golfer and a multi-time LPGA major winner. However, it became the ultimate mic drop on the golf world after sinking a 10-foot birdie putt to win the 2019 Solheim Cup for her European team.
An incredible moment worthy of an incredible career.
Congratulations on your retirement, Suzann! 🏆pic.twitter.com/6nYPDZ4azP
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 15, 2019
Coming down to the final hole against American rookie Marina Alex, in the final match on the course of the 12 played on Sunday, Pettersen stuffed her approach shot at Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course to 10 feet. Pettersen, however, was unaware rookie Bronte Law had secured a point in front of her, leaving the fate of the 2019 Solheim Cup leaderboard in her hands. If Pettersen won the hole, the Europeans would win the final point they needed to win the cup. If she halved or lost the hole, Pettersen would hand the cup back to the Americans for a third-consecutive time.
With a foot to go in the putt, Pettersen knew she had won the match. And with that moment, she knew it was time to end her professional golf career.
“I think this is a perfect closure,” Pettersen said. “A nice ‘the end’ for [my] professional career. It doesn’t get any better.”
Pettersen was considered a controversial addition to Catriona Matthew’s European team, a captain’s pick made given the two-time major winner’s track record in the biennial competition. She didn’t play at all in 2018, as she was preparing to give birth to her first child, Herman, with her husband Christian Ringvold. She had been coy about her return to professional golf in 2019, making her return at the first-ever Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Michigan, the inaugural team event in which Pettersen played with Matthew. The pair missed the cut in Midland, and then Pettersen missed two of three cuts in subsequent LPGA starts.
She came into the week ranked 620th in the world — a product of not playing golf and focusing on the things that really matter.
“Life’s changed so much for me over the last year,” Pettersen said. “He’s [son Herman] 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.”
Pettersen debuted on the LPGA in 2003 and quickly established herself as a force. In total, Pettersen won 15 times, including the 2007 LPGA Championship (now KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and the 2013 Evian Championship. But Pettersen, whose career Solheim Cup record ends at 18-12-6, believes the clinching putt on Sunday was her finest moment.
“Can you ask for more?” she said. “The last putt to win the Cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of the Scottish crowd, to be here most of all. I could never in a million years dream of this.
“I mean, to hole the winning putt, to win the Cup. Nothing beats The Solheim Cup in my career.”