Casares, Spain: Carlota Ciganda holed a short putt on hole No. 17 to beat opponent Nelly Korda and give Team Europe the win over the United States in the Solheim Cup on Sunday.
Ciganda, the only Spaniard on the European team, sealed the third straight win for Europe at Finca Cortesin in Andalusia, Spain.
The two teams finished in a 14-14 tie, but as the defending champion, Europe needed just 14 points to win. Team USA would have needed 14 1/2 points to wrestle the title away.
Korda and Ciganda were tied after No. 15 but Korda missed a putt on 16 to put Ciganda up by one, and her win on 17 put her up two with one hole to play.
Lexi Thompson, playing behind Korda and Ciganda, defeated Emily Pedersen, also a 2 and 1 victory, to end the Solheim Cup tied at 14.
After the second day of play on Saturday, the United States and Europe were tied 8-8.
Ciganda, 33, credited Team Europe captain Suzann Pettersen for a boost of confidence on No. 16.
“The key was when Suzann came to me on 16,” Ciganda told NBC after Europe’s celebration on the course. “She came to me, I saw her and she has told me, ‘You’re made for this. Just go enjoy, play good in front of your nation and just finish it up.’ So I hit two amazing shots.
“I mean Nelly. What am I gonna say? She’s an amazing player. I mean World No.
1 many times, so she’s really good. I’m just very happy that I could beat her to get the point for Europe.” She said playing the Solheim Cup in her home nation was an “unbelievable” experience.
“It’s in Europe and, obviously, there is nothing like this one,” she said.
“ ... Playing in Spain in front of your home crowd, listening to Spanish songs and listening to my name all the time, it’s been really amazing, very special and this is something that I won’t forget.”