Europe has retained the Solheim Cup after home favourite Carlota Ciganda clinched the crucial 14th point for her side…
Europe has retained the Solheim Cup with home favourite Carlota Ciganda clinching the crucial point in a tense and unpredictable finish.
Ciganda made an impressive kick-in birdie against Nelly Korda on the 17th hole to take Suzann Pettersen’s side to 14 points when the team scores read 13 apiece.
The teams were locked at 8-8 at the start of a tense day at Finca Cortesin, and America started fast in the opening matches.
Leona Maguire showed no sign of fatigue despite playing in every session in Andalucia. She brushed rookie Rose Zhang aside 4&3 in the second match out.
Megan Khang and Danielle Kang responded well, against Linn Grant and Charley Hull, in the other two matches of the first three to give Team USA a 10-9 lead. The next trio of showdowns was crucial.
Europe retain the Solheim Cup! 🏆🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/lx4cjMD0P6— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) September 24, 2023
Georgia Hall missed a putt of no more than two feet on the 17th hole which led to sharing a half with Andrea Lee, but this was followed by quickfire victories by Lilia Vu and Angel Yin against Madelene Sagstrom and Celine Boutier.
America were now two points from regaining the Solheim Cup.
Playing-captain Anna Nordqvist took her match 2&1 with Jennifer Kupcho before rookie Gemma Dryburgh halved with Cheyenne Knight.
In just her second appearance of the week, Caroline Hedwall crucially beat Ally Ewing 2 up to narrow the gap to 12-13.
Her compatriot Maja Stark continued her impressive event debut with a huge 2&1 win over Allisen Corpuz, the US Women’s Open champion.
At 13-13, Carlota Ciganda stepped up to the par-3 17th tee against the former World No.1 Korda and delivered the knockout blow – hitting an approach to the near gimme range for a birdie.
America’s most experienced player Lexi Thompson beat Emily Pedersen in the final match to make sure the scores finished 14-14, preventing Europe from winning the cup outright.
Europe has remained unbeaten for the third consecutive Solheim Cup, something the blue and gold side have never achieved before, having also been 4-0 down after the first session.
Suzann Pettersen – European Captain
“I don’t know, it was meant to be. It came down to Carlota in Spain in her own hands. Walking down 16, I said ‘This is how we wanted it, it’s in her own hands now – and she’s got it.
“Hedwall gave her point, but at some point 30 minutes prior, we had no clue where it was going. It was coming down to the wire.
“They are the best team. I’m so proud – they play with heart. There is no such thing as giving up no matter what the challenge is ahead. We got off to a rough start, but we don’t look back. The sky is the limit.
Stacy Lewis – US Captain
“What a moment for Carlota and women’s golf. Such a cool finish there, my team played their hearts out and I’m just so proud of them.
“They fought. We played the back nine better all week and hung in there with every match. I just told them we didn’t lose, it was a tie and there’s so much to build on this week. I think these rookies learned a lot and that’s what it’s about.
“I loved the line-up the way it came out today. I loved the match-ups. All week, I thought we made really good decisions and these things come down to one shot and one putt and it’s just amazing out of all the matches that are played, that’s what it comes down to.
Carlota Ciganda – Team Europe
“It’s amazing, it’s been an amazing week. I have a lot of support from my family and friends, I have a lot of people here.
“To play in Spain is always special but to play a Solheim Cup – it’s just been an unbelievable week. I love captain Suzann and I really wanted to play well for her.
“I’m very happy to win four points in Spain in front of the home crowd and the Americans – they played amazing as well so congrats to both teams.
“The key was when Suzann came to me on 16, I was missing having some of the Europeans with me and she came to me. I saw her and she told me ‘you are made for this, enjoy it, play well in front of your nation and just finish it off.
“I hit two amazing shots. Nelly – what can I say – she’s an amazing player, a World No. 1 many times, so she played really well and I’m really happy that I could beat her to get the point for Europe.”
Solheim Cup singles results:
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
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