This story first appeared in the October 16, 2000, issue of Sports Illustrated.
There was a moment on Sunday afternoon at the Solheim Cup as the scoreboard was bleeding the red of the U.S.A. and the British press was calling for the heads of more Ugly Americans when another international golf event seemed on the verge of disintegrating into pure melodrama. It had already been a week in which tears outnumbered raindrops, a contentious Cup during which no one was immune to press-conference shrapnel. Now the two teams were at each other's throats over an incident that had a stench far worse than anything that emanated from last year's Ryder Cup. So be thankful that Europe won, because a U.S. victory would have been poisonous not only to the health of the Solheim Cup, but also to the spirit of the game. When it was finally over, when a furious Sunday rally by the Americans had been snuffed out, there was a sense that Europe had won far more than an oversized crystal trophy.