Carlota Ciganda is the hometown hero as the Spaniard helped Team Europe secure its third straight Solheim Cup.
For the first time in 19 cups, it ended in a 14-14 tie. Since Team Europe won the most recent event in 2021, they retain the title. It is incumbent upon the challengers to win the event. Team USA fell a half point short of doing that.
Ciganda took down Nelly Korda on Sunday in the singles match 2 & 1.
Her point got the Europeans to 14 points first, which was all they needed to secure the Cup.
She started her day strong, going up by three through eight holes. Korda mounted a comeback and squared the match on the back nine.
The match was even as the players were on 16. Team USA only needed a half point to win the Solheim Cup.
But Ciganda was simply too good when it mattered most.
‘Suzann [Pettersen], she came to me [on 16]... she just told me you were made for this,” Ciganda said after her round.
“Go enjoy and play good in front of your nation and just finish it up. I hit two amazing shots. Nelly, what am I going to say, she’s an amazing player, been world No. 1 numerous times... So I’m pretty happy I could beat her to get the point for Europe.”
Ciganda did just that. After Korda hit her approach to eight feet above the hole, Ciganda knocked it stiff to three feet. Korda missed the tricky downhill putt, and Ciganda sank hers, putting her 1UP and Team Europe on the precipice of victory.
She wasn’t done.
Ciganda then hit her tee shot on the par-3 17th once again to three feet. After Korda’s tee came up short left, the tournament was essentially over.
The 33-year-old from Pamplona, Spain went 4-0-0 this week. Incredibly, she didn’t trail in any of her matches.
The local hero got it done on her home soil, with fans singing and chanting in Spanish in the background.
All 12 players for Team Europe stepped up to the challenge, but it was only fitting that Ciganda ended the tournament.
Europe now has Solheim Cup bragging rights until next year when these two teams meet in the States at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. The women will play back-to-back years to put the men’s and women’s team events in opposite years.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.