Team USA wins Solheim Cup, this time without controversy

The 2017 Solheim Cup gave thousands of supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, quite a show last weekend as the Americans won their second consecutive trophy, 16 1/2 to 11 1/2, over Europe.

Unlike the event two years ago, there was no controversy behind USA’s victory to cause drama between the two teams. Instead, it was a classic golf competition filled with respect and admiration across the three days.

Golfers played at an elite level, delivering a tournament filled with electrifying shots and moments. Here are the top five from the 2017 Solheim Cup.

#5: Dancing captains

This moment had no impact on the 2017 Solheim Cup end result, but it was cool to see.

Solheim Cup captains Juli Inkster and Annika Sorenstam joined in the fun of the event by moving to the sounds of “Dancing Queen” prior to the final round.

Why is this a top moment? Flashback to last year’s tournament and you’ll remember there was tension between the two teams following the rule infraction by USA. Even though Sorenstam wasn’t the captain of that 2015 European team, it’s still a rivalry between golf nations which dates back many years.

This little 22-second clip shows that even as competitors, two individuals of different nationalities can come together and embrace in a positive way. We need more of this in our country today.

Bravo, captains.

#4: Lexi drives the green

Another moment that didn’t have a direct impact on USA’s victory, but I’m including it for obvious reasons.

This was how Lexi Thompson began the Solheim Cup, driving the green on the first hole which played at 306 yards. And this was just a 3-wood!

The reason this shot makes the list is simple. Lexi is the biggest star in women’s golf, yet the 22-year-old isn’t a household name just yet among general sports fans. It’s shots like this – videos which can go viral and appear on daily sports shows – which help grow the LPGA.

Also helping build her brand and popularity was what she did in the final round. Read more about that below.

#3: Kang’s killer putt for birdie

How can you not like Danielle Kang?

This was her first Solheim Cup but handled it like she’s been on this stage her entire life. Along with bringing life to the course, including pumping the crowd up before tee shots, the 24-year-old was clutch for the United States by going 3-1-0 last weekend.

This putt on Sunday was phenomenal.

She’ll now be a centerpiece of this United States squad for many years to come.

#2: Donning the flag

There has to be no greater feeling than wearing the American flag on your back, knowing there are fellow Americans across the country supporting you.

This putt by Lizette Salas secured the winning point for the Americans as captain Juli Inkster looked on with a smile.

These are the moments which separate the Solheim Cup (and Ryder Cup on the men’s side) from every other golf competition. It’s not about the money or FedEx Cup points – it’s about showing pride in your country and wearing those colors proudly.

‘Merica.

#1: An epic singles match

Golf fans will remember the Lexi Thompson vs. Anna Nordqvist dual for a long time.

It was arguably the greatest Solheim Cup match in tournament history, but there was no winner. Other than the people of Des Moines who witnessed it, of course. The match was halved after Nordqvist birdied the 18th to even the score with Thompson.

But how we got there was truly remarkable.

Nordqvist rolled in four-straight birdie putts to open the round, and Thompson was off her game with just one birdie on the front nine. However, Lexi flipped the switch on No. 10 with a birdie before the defining moment of the week.

An eagle out of nowhere! Crazy thing is, though, it wasn’t her last on Sunday.

The young American played the back nine at 7-under, with her final birdie on the 16th giving her a one-shot advantage. Nordqvist couldn’t possibly regain the momentum, could she?

Nordqvist tapped in that putt for birdie to halve the hole, and the two competitors hugged one another walking off the 18th green knowing it one for the ages.