It might’ve been Carlota Ciganda who secured the Solheim Cup, but there were a number of key matches that kept Europe unbeaten for a third consecutive time…
You can come out from behind the sofa now.
It was Team USA’s trophy to win, then it was Team Europe’s to lose. It was a tie in the end but there were so many twists and turns leading to the 14-14 result.
The first draw in the event’s history came from sheer excitement, nail-biting intensity and determination not to lose from a handful of the game’s biggest stars.
Carlota Ciganda secured the point that kept the trophy in Europe before Lexi Thompson silenced Emily Pedersen in the anchor match to ensure Europe didn’t win outright.
So many crucial flashpoints came before Ciganda’s dynamite birdie on 17 at Finca Cortesin, so we go through the most important stages of the 2023 Solheim Cup singles.
You can read a full report of the day’s play just here.
Maguire’s win was surrounded by red
Leona Maguire was sent out in the second match on Sunday against Rose Zhang – an absolutely mouthwatering clash between Europe’s VIP and America’s young rookie who won on the LPGA Tour on her professional debut earlier this year.
The Irishwoman maintained her fine form to blow away the former college star 4&3, but this was a win unaccompanied by her teammates in the other two matches of the opening trio.
Megan Khang edged Linn Grant 1 up in the top match and Charley Hull’s week of setbacks and inconsistency was compounded with a 4&2 defeat to Danielle Kang, who dealt with her own issues earlier in the week as her clubs were lost in transit to Andalucia.
America were 10-9 up when the first three matches concluded, which made the next string of showdowns all the more important.
If you can’t win, don’t lose
Georgia Hall was 2 up with four holes left but was level with Andrea Lee heading down the par-5 18th. A defeat at this stage from such a strong position would’ve been disastrous for Hall and for Suzann Pettersen’s Europe.
It ended in a half, as did Gemma Dryburgh’s match with Cheyenne Knight. Dryburgh had been 3 up after seven holes after missing the whole day’s play on Saturday, but Knight fought back to secure a precious half point for the USA in this battle of the rookies.
Despite not lighting up the leaderboard in blue, Hall and Dryburgh’s games were crucial. If they were beaten, Pettersen’s team would’ve been staring down the barrel.
This stability was complemented by playing captain Anna Nordqvist who was never down to Jennifer Kupcho and, unlike her aforementioned teammates, converted this dominance into a 2&1 victory.
This particular passage of the 12-match singles session set up Europe’s heroes at the tail end of the order to stand and deliver.
Super Swedes set up the Spaniard’s moment
Caroline Hedwall. Take a bow. Now take another bow.
The glory belongs to Carlota Ciganda, but Hedwall’s part in Sunday’s performance cannot be overstated. She was 3 down with six holes left against Ally Ewing.
The five-time Solheim Cupper birdied five of the last six holes to turn the match on its head and secure what, on paper, looked a comfortable 2 up victory.
This incredible turnaround took the tie to 12-13, still in the USA’s favour, but this set up a grandstand finish for her compatriot Maja Stark who harnessed the passion and energy of the Solheim Cup from the first match on Friday morning.
The six-time Ladies European Tour winner took down the US Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz 2&1. Corpuz had been in scintillating form all week playing with Kupcho and Nelly Korda in the pairs format.
Ciganda subsequently made sure the trophy stayed on the continent against Korda, but a large amount, if not all, of the credit, must go to Hedwall and Stark before her.
Solheim Cup singles matches:
Linn Grant vs Megan Khang 1up
Leona Maguire 4&3 vs Rose Zhang
Charley Hull vs Danielle Kang 4&2
Anna Nordqvist 2&1 vs Jennifer Kupcho
Georgia Hall vs Andrea Lee AS
Gemma Drybrugh vs Cheyenne Knight AS
Celine Boutier vs Angel Yin 2&1
Caroline Hedwall 2 up vs Ally Ewing
Madelene Sagstrom vs Lilia Vu 4&3
Maja Stark 2&1 vs Allisen Corpuz
Carlota Ciganda 2&1 vs Nelly Korda
Emily Kristine Pedersen vs Lexi Thompson 2 up
We dive deep into the golf ball roll back plans!