The Solheim Cup remains with Europe after the 14:14 draw against the USA

Nelly Korda stood several steps from the hole on No. 17, helplessly waiting for the almost inevitable conclusion of her singles match against Carlota Ciganda, who defended the Solheim Cup for Europe with a birdie on both feet.

As the Spaniard’s ball rolled for a 2-1 victory and her team’s crucial 14th point in the trophy, the American turned away while the Europeans frolicked in the middle of the green at Finca Cortesin in Casares, Spain, on Sunday celebrated.

Korda, the third-ranked player in the world, was one of the last lines of defense for the United States, which needed 14½ points to take the Crystal Cup from Europe. The Americans instead settled for a 14-14 draw, a first in Solheim Cup history, as they failed to prevent Europe from triumphing for a third straight year in the 18th edition of women’s golf’s top team event.

Playing in the penultimate singles match, Korda rallied from a 3-point deficit after the 15th hole to tie the score. Ciganda, who was 4-0-0 this week, took the lead with a birdie on No. 16, where Korda missed a short putt for her own birdie. Then came Ciganda’s brilliant iron shot off the tee on the par-3 17th that all but sealed the result.

Among the first teammates to console Korda was Megan Khang, who won the first singles match of the day, defeating Sweden’s Linn Grant by 1 thanks to smart par saves on the final two holes.

“Carlota hit two great shots after an unfortunate shot, and that’s what I told [Korda]“You can’t condescend too much,” Khang said. “Those were two incredible shots. At the end of the day, Carlota made birdie and won the hole. [Korda] I didn’t tell, so don’t look at it that way.”

The Americans had ample opportunity to win the Solheim Cup on international soil for the first time since 2015, but failed to maintain the lead in crucial games, including Ally Ewing’s loss to Caroline Hedwall by two. Ewing was third through 12 holes until Hedwall stormed back to win 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th. The Swede made four birdies and an eagle on these holes.

Reigning US Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz lost to Sweden’s Maja Stark 2 and 1 after the American failed to save par on No. 17. Rose Zhang birdied the first hole to move ahead of Ireland’s Leona Maguire but failed for a 4-and-3 loss.

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Maguire’s 5-4 win over Jennifer Kupcho in 2021 at the Inverness Club in Toledo had lifted Europe to a 15-13 victory. The European trio has a total lead of three points; It started with a 14½-13½ win in 2019, thanks to Suzann Pettersen’s game-winning putt on No. 18 in the final singles match at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Pettersen was Europe’s captain this year, and she made do with her charges after the Americans won Friday’s morning games to take a 4-0 lead. The teams entered Sunday tied with 8 points.

“I suspect both [U.S. captain Stacy Lewis] and I knew it would come to the point,” Pettersen said. “Today we tied, and like the last few Solheims, it usually comes down to a game, a putt here or a shot there.”

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Lewis will serve as captain for next year’s Solheim Cup at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. This will be the first Solheim Cup to be held in the D.C. region, and the biennial event is moving to even years after organizers adjusted the schedule to avoid a conflict with the Ryder Cup, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic was postponed from 2020 to 2021. This year’s Ryder Cup begins on Friday in Italy.

Lewis, who was part of the most recent U.S. team to win the Solheim Cup in 2017, indicated she doesn’t plan to make much, if any, changes to her 2024 roster. This year’s group included five Solheim Cup newcomers: Zhang, Corpuz, world No. 2 Lilia Vu, Andrea Lee and Cheyenne Knight.

“I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but it was a draw and I think that’s a lot for this team to build on,” Lewis said, “especially coming here and coming into this environment with five freshmen .”, a very young and inexperienced team. This week was really, really good from them. Luckily we only have to wait another year to get this thing back.” The Solheim Cup remains with Europe after the 14:14 draw against the USA

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