The Sacrificial Veteran: Europe started as the underdogs and within two days plummeted even lower with the loss of one top player for a day and another for the entire competition, both due to injury. That left one seasoned veteran, Anna Nordqvist, to lead the team both in experience and, hopefully, wins. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in top health either as she was still fighting the lagging remains of mononucleosis. However, to watch her play you would never know it. She was a stalwart and, despite being physically exhausted, she continued to put herself out there to play rather than rest. As a result, she energized her team and ended the competition with three wins, one tie, and the admiration and respect of every American fan.
The Unflappable Rookie: Though she was the top money earner on the Ladies European Tour (LET), it is doubtful that anyone in the US had ever heard of Georgia Hall before the weekend and just chalked her up as being another of Europe’s untested and vulnerable rookies. But rest assured, by the end of the competition EVERYONE knew who she was. Quiet and unassuming, Georgia won the hearts of the American audience by both her laser-like shot-making and her gracious manner. Though a couple of errant shots early in her first round hinted at some nervousness, by the third hole she was back in control and playing flawless golf.
The Tenacious Leader: I would bet the one player the Europeans did not want to have to play against was Christie Kerr. The oldest player on the American team, Kerr went after each shot like a bulldog to a bone. She was the epitome of a fighter and because of that she was sinking putts and holing out from bunkers. She never gave up or let up, and her fierce determination fueled an American team.
The Comeback Kid: Lexi Thompson is 2nd in the world, but you couldn’t tell that by the way she started her singles match against Anna Nordqvist. She looked nervous and out of sorts as she missed short putts and shanked easy approaches. She was four down after nine holes and in match play that is a lot. Many players would have just ridden out the disaster and then made some inane comments to reporters about having a bad day. But Lexi didn’t. After an encouraging hug and word from her coach about not being afraid to fail, from somewhere deep within she found both her resolve and her game, and she came back to go 8 under par in 7 holes, a phenomenal feat, to halve the match with Anna.
True the Solheim Cup is just a sporting event, but what each of these players faced in the microcosm of a golf match can parallel circumstances in our life as people and as Christians.
Sometimes life and circumstances force us to make a decision: protect ourself and our interests or sacrifice for the greater good.
Sometimes we find ourselves a rookie on a big stage (for us), and while others may underestimate us or question our ability because of age or experience, we must remain confident in our abilities and our God who placed us in that situation.
Sometimes we must summon up the strength and resolve to keep our focus, be tenacious, fight for each point, and never give up.
And sometimes when we have made a disaster of the first half of a situation, or a day, or maybe even a life, we have a very important decision to make—give up and count it all a loss––or take comfort in our Father's loving arms and encouraging promises and dig deep and turn it around.