Associated Press photo by Jane Barlow / Norway's Suzann Pettersen celebrates after holing a putt on the 18th green to clinch the Solheim Cup for Europe over the United States on Sunday in Gleneagles, Scotland.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland — Suzann Pettersen stood over the final shot of her golfing career, not quite realizing it also was the last shot of the most dramatic Solheim Cup ever played.

Europe's players had their hands over their mouths. Their captain could barely watch. Blissfully unaware of what was unfolding was 1-year-old Herman, Pettersen's first child who also was among the thousands around the 18th green on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.

Pettersen's putt was from seven feet, slightly left to right — and once the ball was rolling, there was no doubt it was true.

After being mobbed by her teammates on the 18th green, an emotional Pettersen held Herman in her arms and kissed him. The Europeans had defeated the United States to regain the Solheim Cup, and one of the stalwarts of women's golf had her perfect ending.

"Yeah, this is it. I'm completely done," said the 38-year-old Norwegian, confirming her sudden decision to retire. "It doesn't get any better."

On an afternoon of singles matches that pretty much had everything, Europe secured a 14 1/2-13 1/2 win to secure the biggest team prize in women's golf for the first time since 2013. This was the 16th edition of the biennial event, and the Americans lead the all-time series 10-6.

The final act, spread over two holes with virtually simultaneous putts, could not have been more thrilling.

Just as Pettersen was addressing her putt at No. 18, U.S. golfer Ally McDonald slid a putt to the right of the cup at No. 17 and walked up to Bronte Law to concede the match in favor of the Europeans. The score was tied at 13 1/2, and without her even realizing it, the outcome of the contest hinged on Pettersen.

"I thought Bronte was in behind me on the (18th) fairway," Pettersen said. "I actually didn't know that it was THE putt."

That it was Pettersen who secured the winning point felt apt. She was a contentious wild-card pick by European captain Catriona Matthew because Pettersen had played only two tournaments — missing the cut in both — since November 2017. She had time off before and after giving birth to Herman, and then because of injury.

Pettersen also had a score to settle with the Solheim Cup. In her most recent appearance before this year, at St. Leon-Rot in Germany in 2015, she refused to concede a short putt to Alison Lee on the 17th hole of a tight fourballs match before the singles on the final day. There were angry exchanges, and it stoked a fire inside the Americans as they fought back from 10-6 down going into the singles to win 14-13.

Pettersen later apologized, and her redemption story was completed in Scotland, the home of golf, where the U.S. team hasn't won in three attempts. Playing in her ninth Solheim Cup, Pettersen won two of her three matches and is now a member of four winning teams.

The day started with the teams locked at 8-8 after four sessions, and the first definitive break of the entire contest happened when the Americans took the lead, at 12-11, for the first time since midday Friday. At 13 1/2-11 1/2, they needed just a half-point from the final three singles matches out on the course to guarantee retaining the cup, but then came the European rally.

Anna Nordqvist completed a 4-and-3 win over Morgan Pressel. Then, on No. 17, Law sealed a 2-and-1 win over McDonald to tie the score. Pettersen delivered for Europe on No. 18, but only after her opponent, Marina Alex, slid a 10-foot birdie putt wide that, if the ball had found the hole, would have been enough for the United States.

"It was great for women's golf. We played great," said U.S. captain Juli Inkster. "But you know what, the Europeans played great. You tip your hat. And you move on to Toledo."

Inkster won't participate in 2021 when Inverness Club hosts, confirming afterward that she will not be captain for a fourth straight match. The 59-year-old Californian finishes with two victories from three Solheim Cups as captain.