By Her Sport deputy editor Nicola Kenton
Witnessing one of the biggest sporting spectacles in 2019 and watching history being made is a moment you never forget. This occasion also marked the end of the first week of the Her Sport news wire.
The answer to the question, ‘What was your favourite sporting highlight of last year?’ is an easy one for me. Watching Suzann Pettersen sink her putt on the 18th green at Gleneagles.
Europe’s victory in the Solheim Cup could be a defining moment for women’s golf and women’s sport in the UK, and had a huge impact on me as both a reporter and a sports fan.
At Gleneagles, I gazed on as an intense and gripping battle emerged featuring the 24 best European and US players, who were engaged in a heavyweight clash on the PGA Centenary course.
Captain Juli Inkster was at the helm of the USA looking for her third successive victory in charge but Scotland’s Catriona Matthew stood in her way. The local hero, who attended the University of Stirling, led her team to a dramatic 14½-13½ win just a few miles down the road.
It was the third European victory on Scottish soil. But it wasn’t just the home win which paved the way, records were broken throughout the tournament.
The Korda sisters became the first sisters to represent the USA, playing together in the foursomes cemented their place in history, they claimed a record-equalling win on the second day and went through the tournament undefeated.
It was also the highest-ever attended women’s golf event in the UK with record crowds of more than 90,000 lining the fairways in Gleneagles.
Late sporting victories were the toast of last year’s summer of sport and the Solheim Cup was no exception. Europe won their last three matches to reclaim the trophy and it was left to Pettersen to hole the winning putt, writing the perfect ending to her own golfing fairytale. As thousands of spectators streamed onto the 18th green – was that the moment women’s golf changed?
The LPGA and the LET announced in November that they had agreed to a long-term partnership to significantly grow awareness, sponsor support and professional playing opportunities for women in Europe. Both parties have a shared vision for the future of women’s professional golf and the growth of the game.
At Her Sport we have a similar vision. Women’s sport is out there and it’s thriving, something the Solheim Cup only reinforced. But it’s still not being talked about enough. By launching the first dedicated women’s sports wire in the UK, we’ve been able to tell stories that may not have been heard.
2020 is a big year ahead. It’s a year full to the brim of sporting action and we’re going to be at the forefront. Whether that’s at major events such as the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in Australia, the Women’s Six Nations or the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. But we don’t just focus on the spectacles, we make sure to tell stories from every level – those who have just entered elite sport to the household names. Putting women’s sport where it’s meant to be is what we do and we’re only just getting started.