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Team Europe Retain Solheim Cup After Thrilling 14-14 Draw Against Team USA

Team Europe Retain Solheim Cup After Thrilling 14-14 Draw Against Team USA
(PA Images/Alamy)

Suzann Pettersen’s Team Europe came out on top in the 18th edition of the Solheim Cup after Spain’s Carlota Ciganda clinched the decisive point in an entertaining tournament.

Ciganda holed on the 17th to defeat Nelly Korda 2&1 on a dramatic final day of the competition in Finca Cortesin.

“I don’t have many feelings right now,” Ciganda said. “I’m so happy just to do this for Suzann, for Spain. “I’m just so proud. I’m so happy to do this for everyone here of the family, the Spanish crowd, this is just amazing.

“When I saw Suzann on 16, she told me a couple of things, and I was like, ‘I’m just going to do this for her, because I love her and she deserves this’.”

“I think it was meant to be. It came down to Carlota, in Spain, in her own hands,” Pettersen added.

The home hero prevailed in all four of her matches.

Going into the final day of matches, the teams were deadlocked at 8-8 with 12 singles matches remaining. Team Europe required 14 points to retain the Solheim Cup while Team USA required 14Β½ points.

Early victories for Leona Maguire and vice-captain Anna Nordqvist saw Team Europe gain the uper hand but Team USA fought back and dominated the middle matches to claim a 13-11 lead with four singles matches remaining.

Wildcard pick Caroline Hedwall staged an impressive comeback in her match against Ally Ewing, rallying from a three-hole deficit after 12 holes and securing victory by winning five of the last six holes.

Maja Stark later levelled the contest at 13-13 after defeating U.S. Open champion Allisen Corpuz 2&1, who conceded a putt on the 17th.

The pivotal moment then arrived when Ciganda, competing in her home country, sealed the victory for Team Europe defeating Nelly Korda 2&1 thanks to a sublime tee-shot on the par-three 17th that positioned her perfectly for a regulation putt which she sunk to ensure her team retained the Solheim Cup.

This triggered jubilant celebrations for Team Europe as they secured the all-important 14th point despite the fact that Emily Pedersen and Lexi Thompson still had a match to play.

“We had a massive challenge ahead of us,” team captain Suzann Pettersen said after her teams triumph. “There was a stretch where I was pretty sure we were half a point short. We’ve created history yet again.”

“I would like to give some extra credit to Caroline Hedwall. I feel like she had the crucial point. She teed it nicely up for Carlota to just bring it home on 16 and 17.

“Both Stacy [Lewis] and I knew this was going to come down to the wire. I mean, we were tied going into today, and like it has over the last couple of Solheims, it usually comes down to one match, one putt here or one shot there.”

USA team captain Stacy Lewis expressed her appreciation for her teams efforts after the defeat.

“My team played their hearts out. I’m so proud of the way they fought.

“I told them we didn’t lose. It was a tie and there was so much to build off this week.”

The next team golfing event kicks off later this week in the form of the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.