Team Europe Wins Third Consecutive Solheim Cup Title
09/24/2023 by Tobias Hennig
Team Europe defends its title at the 2023 Solheim Cup. A Spaniard, of all people, wins the decisive point in her home country.
Team Europe wins the 2023 Solheim Cup. (Credit: Getty)
Team Europe wins the Solheim Cup 2023. On a highly exciting final Sunday, Carlota Ciganda, of all people, holed the decisive point at the first Solheim Cup in her home country. The Spaniard was subsequently carried on her hands by her teammates.
Team Europe wins the Solheim Cup 2023
The singles at the 2023 Solheim Cup could hardly have been more exciting. Almost all duels were close, alternately the teams secured the points in the beginning, before matches 5 and 6 were split. But even after that, neither the USA nor Europe could pull away and the following four matches went half to half to both teams. So the score was 13:13 with two matches still open. One of them was played by Carlota Ciganda, the only Spaniard in the team at her home match.
And it was she who took the decisive point. In the duel with Nelly Korda, which she had already led by 3 after eight holes, the tide seemed to turn on the back nine. The American picked up three holes and it went all square on the 16th. Here Ciganda, who kept firing up the fans in between, showed her nerves. She regained the lead with a birdie and one hole later attacked the flag of the par-3 with a precise tee shot. Korda missed the green on the left and the Spaniard had no trouble with a short putt to get the 14 point for her team.
With Europe competing as defending champions, the eventual tie was enough for a third straight victory. The outcome of the last match did not matter. Already next year the next Solheim Cup will be played. Then the tournament, which is played regularly every two years, will take place at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville (Virginia), USA.
Sunday’s Singles in Detail
17 – Megan Khang (USA) def. Linn Grant (EUR), 1-up
Megan Khang grabbed the early lead with an opening birdie on No. 1 and she did not lose that lead once in 18 holes of play. Linn Grant, who played all five matches in her Solheim Cup debut, tried to cut into the lead on several occasions but Khang answered each time. The best Grant was able to do was bring the score down from 2-up to 1-up on holes 7, 12 and, finally, on 16. The match went dormie when both made par on 17, but Khang was able to close it out with a par putt to tie the match and earn the U.S. their second point of the day.
“Super proud,” Khang said about how she feels she’s performed this weekend. “When the draw came out and I had Linn first off, you know Linn was going to bring it, and I knew I had to do the exact same and hopefully come out on top. I took it all the way to 18 and she definitely made me work for it.”
18 – Leona Maguire (EUR) def. Rose Zhang (USA), 4 and 3
Rose Zhang struck first, carding her first birdie of the day on the opening hole. But Leona Maguire, the hero of the 2021 Solheim Cup, quickly answered with birdies on two and three to take control of the match. The two went back and forth until No. 7., when Maguire took the lead again and only expanded on it from there. She went 2 up, 3 up, then 4 up on holes 12, 13 and 14 before the match ended on 15 when the two halved that hole. Maguire’s quick victory was the first point of the day for Team Europe and overall.
“Suzann handed me a job this morning,” Maguire said. “I knew it was going to be tough. It was going to be a very tough opponent. It was important to get blue on the board early and it’s great.”
19 – Danielle Kang (USA) def. Charley Hull (EUR), 4 and 2
After the third group teed off, Danielle Kang became the third American to take a 1-up lead after the first hole. She held it for the next two holes before Charley Hull tied the match with a birdie on No. 4. Another seemingly deadlocked match, Kang caught fire after going 1-up on hole 6. She got to 3-up on No. 12 and made it 4-up with a birdie on 16, earning her the 4 and 2 victory and the first point of the day for the United States
“It means a lot, honestly,” Kang said about how much it means to earn a point for the United States. “We had great leadership this week and Stacy just told me to keep trusting my game. And you can’t reach any of the par-5s or the par-4s, but she says, You’re one of the best wedges, so that’s what I did, stayed focused, played my game, and she wanted me out early to put a point up there, so I’m glad that I did my job.”
20 – Anna Nordqvist def. Jennifer Kupcho (USA), 2 and 1
It took five holes before the stalemate between Jennifer Kupcho and Anna Nordqvist was broken. On 5, playing assistant captain Nordqvist carded her first birdie to give the Swede the lead over Kupcho. From there, Nordqvist took the next two holes building a 3-up lead over the American, but she would not go down easily. Kupcho brought the match down to 1-up with a birdie on 14 and the two kept battling, tying the next hole before the vice-captain took a 2-up lead on 16 with a birdie of her own. Dormie heading onto 17, the match ended there with a par from each player. Nordqvist’s win became the second point of the day for Europe.
“Suzann had trust in me and she put me out pretty early, so obviously it was a huge honor,” Nordqvist said. “I’ve been playing well this week. I played really well yesterday. I just couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t make any putts. It was a pretty hard golf course yesterday, but I had a lot of friends and family and team supporting me and pulling me through. It’s been a really hard year for me, and I just put every last bit of heart I had left in me to go out there today. It’s blowing really hard and I hit some amazing golf shots today. It was really hard.”
21 – Andrea Lee (USA) tied. Georgia Hall (EUR)
Georgia Hall struck first, carding a birdie on the opening hole in the final day. She would go on to hold that lead for the next four holes until Andrea Lee made par on No. 6 to tie the match after a bogey from Hall. A birdie from Lee on the very next hole put her at a deficit again, but she made up for it with another par on 8 to tie it again. It would stay tied for the next three holes before Hall went 1-up on 12, then 2 up on 14. Though Hall had opportunities to close the door, Lee fought back and eventually brought the match to a tie on No. 17. The two parred the final hole, halving the match for the United States and Europe.
22 – Cheyenne Knight tied Gemma Dryburgh
After not seeing any action in day two, Gemma Dryburgh came out swinging and carded her first birdie on the par-3 No. 3 to take a one up lead. Her lead grew to 3 up over the next two holes, looking like she would take control and earn Europe another point. Slowly but surely, Cheyenne Knight worked herself back into the mix with birdies on No. 8 to get the score down to 2-up, another on No. 15 to close the gap to 1-up and, finally on 16, she tied the match up. It stayed that way for the last three holes, giving the U.S. and Europe another half a point each.
“Yeah, I was 3-down early on 7 and just, like, things were not going my way and I was getting pretty frustrated and Stacy came and told me on 13, after I hit my approach shot she said, ‘Are you ready to fight today?’ I was like, ‘I am.’ And I won (that hole),” Knight said. “Her giving me kind of a pep talk on 13 was really helpful and I have so much respect for her. It was just so awesome that she’s my captain.”
23 – Angel Yin (USA) def. Celine Boutier (EUR), 2 and 1
Only one of three Europeans to take a lead after the first hole, Celine Boutier took advantage of the early par 4 to go 1-up on Angel Yin. But the American tied it right back up after a bogey by Boutier on 2. Yin followed that up with a birdie on 3 to take her first lead of the day and carried it until No. 11. Boutier made another birdie on 11 to tied it up and then took advantage of a bogey from Yin on No. 12 to retake a short-lived lead. Yin won the next two holes, going 1-up, then lost a point on 15 to bring things back to a tie. A great drive on 16 and a long birdie put gave Yin her final lead of the day, as she followed with another birdie on 17 to win 2 and 1.
“Definitely for me in my favor, but it wasn’t the end game,” Yin said about her eagle on No. 14. “It wasn’t, like, okay, now the match is for Angel. No, it was still up in the air. Holes coming in were difficult, especially since Celine hit that beautiful shot in 15, and I just got caught in the rough, and I was like, shoot. I mean, to me, if I make a par, that was really good.”
24 – Caroline Hedwall (USA) def. Ally Ewing (EUR), 2 up
American Ally Ewing led nearly the entire match, going all the way to 3 up on No. 12 having not been down a hole before then. But Swede Caroline Hedwall, well rested after playing just one match on Friday and Saturday, did not give up, winning holes 13, 14 and 16 to tie the match near the very end. With the momentum and the crowd strongly in her favor, Hedwall won her last two holes with a birdie and an eagle, staging an important come-from-behind victory to earn a whole point for the Euros.
‘I don’t know, to be honest,” answered Hedwall when asked how she turned the match around. “It was something in me. You know, I never give up, and I showed that today. I mean, I’m just so proud of myself and, wow, that was awesome.”
25 – Lilia Vu (USA) def. Madelene Sagstrom (EUR), 4 and 3
One of the more dominating wins of the day, Lilia Vu took her early lead on No. 1 and never looked back. Growing her lead hole by hole, Vu got to 5-up on No. 6 thanks to three birdies and a couple of errors by Madelene Sagstrom. Trying to bring the match back in favor of the Europeans, Sagstrom managed to cut the lead to 3-up with a birdie on No. 8. With the momentum starting to shift, Vu took advantage of a double-bogey from the European on No. 11, effectively sealing the deal for the Americans with a 4 and 3 victory.
“I mean, I’m sad that I wasn’t able to get a point for our team the first three matches that I played in, but I was really happy to kind of drive off of DK’s energy yesterday. Our match against Carlota and Linn, we were 7-under through nine and they were 8-under through nine. It was insane, and I think I just ran off the energy we had yesterday afternoon into today,” Vu said.
26 – Maja Stark (EUR) def. Allisen Corpuz (USA), 2 and 1
The tightest match of the afternoon, it stayed deadlocked for the first six holes until Maja Stark struck first with a birdie on No. 7. Allisen Corpuz could not find an opening from the Swede, trailing 1-up most of the back nine with the score even creeping into 2-up territory on Nos. 13 and 14. Corpuz tried her best and brought the gap back down to 1-up heading into No. 17, but the American faltered on No. 17 allowing Europe to take the 2 and 1 victory.
“Yeah, I totally did. I was looking at the scoreboard the whole day and it wasn’t looking good,” she said when asked if she knew how important her point was. “It was looking very tight though. But I knew that (background noise) I tried to do everything I could to bring it home and I feel like it looks like that’s what we’re doing right now.”
27 –. Carlota Ciganda def. Nelly Korda, 2 and 1
Arguably the most important match of the day, points were all tied up between the U.S. and Europe as the penultimate match was coming to an end. Playing on home soil, Spainard Carlota Ciganda led from the second hole until the 15th, increasing her lead to as high as 3 up on No. 8. American Nelly Korda was able to slowly chip away at Ciganda’s lead on with a birdie on 9, a par on 10 and another par on 15. Heading onto No. 16, the signature hole surrounded by grandstands, Ciganda felt the home field advantage as her theme song was sung throughout the European crowd. Korda stuck her approach shot close, withing 4-feet, but missed her short put before a birdie from the Ciganda sent a roar throughout the course. On 17, it was Cignada’s turn to stick one close and, after Korda found the bunker and nearly chipped in, the Spainard drained her birdie put to earn Europe’s final point of the day and retain the Solheim Cup for the team.
“I don’t have many feelings right now. I’m so happy just to do this for Suzann and for Spain,” Ciganda said following the match. “I’m just so proud. I’m just so happy. Everyone here is a family. The Spanish crowd is just amazing.”
28 – Lexi Thompson def. Emily Pedersen, 2 and 1
Lexi Thompson and Emily Pedersen took the stage anchoring the singles play as two of the best performers at the 2023 Solheim Cup. Pedersen took the early lead going 1-up on the first hole thanks to an early birdie. She grew her lead to 2-up on No. 3 after Thompson bogeyed the par-3 No. 3. Not allowing the European momentum to continue, Thompson rattled off back-to-back birdies to square the match up on No. 6. The tides began to turn and the American grew to a 4-up lead looking poised to end the match early. Pedersen tried as best as she could to bring the score down closing the gap to a 2-up lead for the American heading into the final holes. Back-to-back pars effectively ended the match, giving America their 14th point.
(Match reports by LPGA)
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