European Solheim Cup Captain Catrin Nilsmark admitted she was “very proud” of her team after a battling final day performance at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana.

“The Americans played unbelievable golf today,” said Nilsmark, who led the team to victory at Barseback in her native Sweden two years ago. “They got a lot of red on the board early which made it very difficult for us.

“We did fightback but it wasn’t quite good enough. But there is always one team that plays better, and today it was them.”

England’s Karen Stupples, one of the European rookies, was involved in the match that ended the contest, losing 3 and 1 to eight-time Solheim player, Meg Mallon.

“I do feel a little responsible, but I kept fighting to the end,” said Stupples. “Meg is a very solid player but I just wish I’d risen to the occasion a little better.”

Stupples, last year’s Weetabix Women’s British Open Champion, went on to admit that the Solheim experience was the most nerve-wracking of her career.

“Nothing can quite prepare you for this week,” she said. “I had a knot in my stomach all day today and even doing simple things like drinking water was tough.”

While the three US rookies – Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Christina Kim – earned great praise for the home side, Gwladys Nocera played her part in a fine rally by the European team with a 2 and 1 win over American No.1 Cristie Kerr in the singles.

“I was very proud today,” said the French player. “I saw a lot of red on the board, but said to myself ‘this is a chance you have’ and the whole week was a great experience.”

An emotional Nancy Lopez, the US Captain, admitted that regaining the Cup and extending the US record overall to 6-3 was “the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

“It is awesome. I’m so proud of my team and they all did a really good job.

The Europeans played hard and fought hard, but my team and the fans were unbelievable.

“My players worked their butts off to make the team and then they went out and got the cup back. All I did was hold their hands along the way.”