Local hero Carlota Ciganda leads Team Europe to thrilling Solheim Cup comeback

Carlota Ciganda is Team Europe’s hero so far in the Solheim Cup.

The Spaniard, who has a record of 3-0-0, helped Europe overcome a 4-0 deficit and draw with the Americans at the end of Saturday’s four-ball game.

“It was amazing,” Ciganda said after Saturday’s play. “[Friday] And today, certainly this afternoon, I could hear people cheering pretty loud, so I knew we were doing well. It feels great. It’s incredible to be playing here in Spain and I’m very happy to be part of this great team. ”

“I really love playing in front of my family, my home crowd, my friends. I love this. I’ve been holding them this week. I think it’s been great. I still have a big day tomorrow, but I’m just going to enjoy it.” ”

Carlota Ciganda tees off on the second hole on the second day of the 2023 Solheim Cup.
Photo by: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Interestingly, captain Susan Pettersen sat in Ciganda during Friday’s first foursome session.

The Americans dominated the Europeans that time, but Ciganda helped turn things around on Friday afternoon.

Playing alongside Lynn Grant, the two Europeans defeated Angel Inn and Allie Ewing 4&2 late Friday, with Team Europe narrowing the gap to 5-3 by the end of the day.

And on Saturday morning, Ciganda and Emily Pedersen took turns beating Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu 2&1.

Pettersen got on his hot hands and put Ciganda out again along with Grant on the final four-ball.

They are played beautifullywon 2&1, resulting in a tie with an overall score of 8-8.

Ciganda had six birdies on the front nine and was at 8 under when the match ended on the 17th green.

“I’m just enjoying the moment and playing along.” [Grant] I’m really happy,” Ciganda added. “She does everything great. She can hit the ball great…we can both be aggressive. We love going for pins and getting birdies. So, yeah, I think we showed you something today. So it’s pretty amazing.”

If her American players, Daniel Kang and Vu, had not played as well as they did, the match probably would have ended sooner.

However, even though Kang and Vu played well, Ciganda played better. Even though she didn’t feel “nervous,” she thrived under pressure.

“It’s an extra adrenaline rush and a dream come true excitement,” Ciganda said. “I’ve been playing professionally for 12 years, so I’m very happy to be here and to be able to play in Spain. I think it’s great. The atmosphere with a lot of people on the first hole and the holes after . I think the number of spectators is huge. We need them tomorrow. Yes, it’s very loud.”

Lynn Grant, Carlota Ciganda, LPGA, Solheim Cup

Lynn Grant bumps Carlota Ciganda with a fist on Day 2 of the 2023 Solheim Cup.
Photo by: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The Solheim Cup was tied for the first time since the competition was last held in Europe in 2018. At Gleneagles in Scotland that year, Team Europe won 6.5 of 12 on Sunday, winning 14.5 to 13.5.

They hope to get the same result this time, but captain Pettersen warned his team not to get complacent.

“We have great momentum,” Pettersen said. “We’ve been trying to really get the whole team on the ground in the team room since before we got here. Certainly, we’ve worked a lot to get to where we are, but it’s still not even. . We want them to still feel like they are behind us because we can get 12 points tomorrow.”

Ciganda will play as if he is inferior because of the adrenaline in his body. She has proven that so far. It remains to be seen whether the rest of Europe will do the same, but no one would be surprised if they take revenge again.

Jack Mirko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko Cover more golf.Be sure to check it out @_PlayingThrough Too.

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