Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen takes herself out of Solheim Cup

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Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen takes herself out of Solheim Cup

LPGA Tour

Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen takes herself out of Solheim Cup

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Suzann Pettersen has pulled out of the Solheim Cup. The fiery Norwegian, who became a controversial figure two years ago in Germany, put out a statement Wednesday morning that she had suffered from a recurred slipped disc injury that occurred in Norway over the weekend. She’d been receiving treatment since she arrived in Iowa on Monday evening.

Pettersen will be replaced by vice captain Catriona Matthew, whose name was put in the envelope as an alternate by captain Annika Sorenstam. Matthew was out practicing with rookie Georgia Hall and partners Charley Hull and Mel Reid. 

“I have made this extremely difficult decision to help the European team and give my teammates the best possible chance of success,” Pettersen said on Instagram. “There was no guarantee that I would be fit to compete on Friday morning and I did not want to play unless I was able to give 100 percent. I truly love the Solheim Cup and I will stay and support my team this week in whatever way I can.”

Matthew, who first competed in the Solheim in 1998, has played in each of the past seven consecutive competitions and carries a 15-10-8 record. The 47-year-old holed the winning putt in the 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Sweden and secured the half point needed to win the Cup outright in Colorado seven years ago, giving Europe its first victory on foreign soil.

Pettersen, 36, was out walking the fairways of Des Moines Golf and Country Club with her teammates on Wednesday morning. Seen as a fearless leader among teammates and opponents, the 15-time LPGA winner has been a mainstay of the past eight Solheims and carries a 16-11-6 record. 

How Pettersen would react in Iowa – and how American fans would treat her – after the controversial concession in Germany two years ago was a major storyline this week that will now go unfinished.  

Pettersen and Matthew have each contributed 19 total career points to Team Europe. They’ll both address the media with Sorenstam at a noon press conference in Iowa.

“It’s unfortunate that Suzann has to withdraw due to her back injury,” said Sorenstam. “The Solheim Cup has been such an important part of her career. It was a very tough decision, but I am proud of her and she will still be a leader this week.

“Catriona is a proven Solheim Cup performer who will be able to step right in.”

@letgolf #teameurope

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