Carlota Ciganda Leads the Charge for Europe at the 2023 Solheim Cup
The 2023 Solheim Cup is currently underway at the stunning Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain. Among the many talented golfers competing in this prestigious event, one player stands out as a fierce competitor and leader for the European team – Carlota Ciganda.
Ciganda, a native of Pamplona, Spain, has been nothing short of exceptional in her performance at the Solheim Cup. With a perfect 3-0-0 record in foursomes and fourball matches, she has played a pivotal role in the European team’s pursuit of their third consecutive cup victory.
Earning her place in the Spanish lineup was well-deserved for Ciganda. Her consistent success on the LPGA Tour, with seven top-five finishes, as well as three wins on the Ladies European Tour, during the qualifying period, firmly positioned her as a key player on the team.
Surprisingly, Ciganda did not play during the opening foursomes session on Friday, a decision made by the European captain, Suzann Pettersen, to allow her some time to relax and savor the moment. This strategic move seemed to pay off, as Ciganda has demonstrated exceptional composure and performance throughout the tournament.
Captain Pettersen commended Ciganda for her outstanding play, highlighting her ability to handle the pressure and deliver when it mattered most. Her match with Linn Grant against the American team was particularly remarkable and showcased Ciganda’s talent and determination.
In the Friday afternoon fourball, Ciganda and Grant beat Angel Yin and Ally Ewing convincingly with a score of 4 and 2. The following morning, Ciganda joined forces with Emily Kristine Pedersen in the foursomes match, where they defeated Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu, never trailing their American opponents and closing out the match on the 17th hole, 2 and 1.
However, it was the Saturday afternoon fourball match that truly highlighted Ciganda’s brilliance on the course. Paired once again with Grant and facing Danielle Kang and Vu, Ciganda and Grant birdied their first five holes to tie with their American counterparts. Despite some back-and-forth birdies, Ciganda’s exceptional putt on the 16th hole secured a crucial lead for the European team. The crowd erupted in cheers as the ball found the bottom of the cup, pushing Europe 2-up with two holes remaining.
Ciganda’s passion and unwavering commitment to victory have been instrumental in her success. She has thrived in the supportive home crowd environment, relishing the opportunity to represent her country and play in front of family and friends.
Teaming up with rookie Linn Grant has proven to be a winning combination, with both players consistently making birdies and displaying aggressive yet controlled play. Grant, who has shown great composure as a Solheim Cup rookie, has fed off the momentum provided by her partner and feels inspired to continue performing at her best.
As the tournament heads into the final day of singles matches, Ciganda’s relentless determination and pure love for the game will be her driving force. She is set to face off against American superstar Nelly Korda, ensuring an exciting battle between two of the tournament’s standout players.
Ciganda’s admiration for Captain Pettersen adds another layer of motivation for her. She is determined to secure a victory for her captain, recognizing Pettersen’s exceptional leadership and deserving nature. With this in mind, Ciganda will leave no stone unturned in her pursuit of points and overall victory for the European team.
The outcome of the Solheim Cup will ultimately be determined on the final day of singles matches. However, there is no doubt that Carlota Ciganda will continue to give her all and deliver exceptional performance, just as she has done throughout the tournament.