- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009

From combined dispatches

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. | The United States didn’t want to be called the favorites at the Solheim Cup.

Winners has a much better ring to it.

Morgan Pressel delivered the clinching point with her 3-and-2 victory over Anna Nordqvist on Sunday, and the Americans won their third straight Solheim Cup with a 16-12 decision over Europe. After Nordqvist missed an 8-footer to keep the match going, Pressel’s teammates, who had been watching at the side of the green, leaped up and started celebrating.

“This is so important to us,” Pressel said, wiping away tears. “It’s not about pride. It’s not about money. It’s about country. It’s about our teammates.”

Michelle Wie, whose 3-0-1 record was the best of any American this week, grabbed a U.S. flag and held it aloft to cries of “Wie!” from the crowd. As the last three matches finished, there were shrieks of joy when the next American joined the party and new rounds of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

When the last match was done, they ran around the 18th green hugging each other and waving American flags. The fans at Rich Harvest Farms, so boisterous all week, serenaded the players with more chants and applause.

“Most of the day, I didn’t think it was going to happen,” U.S. captain Beth Daniel said.

Fittingly, one of the players who changed the momentum in the Americans’ favor was Juli Inkster.

At 49, she’s the oldest player in Solheim Cup history with a daughter who’s only a few months younger than Wie. She was a captain’s pick and, after a rough day Saturday, struggled most of Sunday afternoon against Gwladys Nocera.

But as always, when her team needs her most, Inkster was there.

Down two after 12, she made birdies on 14 and 15. She evened the match with a solid shot into 12 feet on the par-3 16th, then actually went 1 up when Nocera missed a 6-footer for par on the 17th. Inkster would bogey 18 but still left with a half-point.

It was quite a finish for what Inkster insists will be her last week. She was given the honor of lowering the U.S. flag at the closing ceremony, doing it with her daughters by her side.

“Well, I’m not doing a Brett Favre, but it is,” said Inkster, whose 18 points is most for a U.S. player. “I want to come out and watch. These girls are great. They’ve got a lot of young talent, and it needs to be passed down right now.”

Moore gets first victory

GREENSBORO, N.C. | Ryan Moore won for the first time on the PGA Tour with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Kevin Stadler at the Wyndham Championship.

Moore - who vaulted up the leader board with five consecutive birdies on the back nine - had two chances to seal the victory after his approach on No. 18 landed in the middle of the green and rolled to six feet. He sank that putt for his first victory in his 112th event.

Stadler’s second shot on the third playoff hole skipped off the back of the green. He chipped within 20 feet, but his putt drifted to the low side of the cup.

That cleared the way for Moore to pick up $918,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for winning the final tournament before the playoffs start later this week.

Sergio Garcia blew a three-stroke lead midway through the final round, shot a 70 and finished at 265.

Reid wins in playoff

SUNRIVER, Ore. | Mike Reid made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat John Cook and win the Jeld-Wen Tradition for his second career major on the Champions Tour.

Dyson rallies

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands | England’s Simon Dyson came from six shots back to win the KLM Open, beating Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom in a playoff.

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