Europe’s best young female golfers got Solheim Cup week off to a winning start for the host continent when beating Team USA in the PING Junior Solheim Cup held in Spain.
Team Europe, captained by France’s Gwladys Nocera, won the match 15-9 following a thrilling two days of competition over the Old Course at La Zagaleta.
Europe was fast out of the gate on Monday morning, winning five of the six foursomes matches and halving the other to lead the visitors 5.5-0.5.
Setting the tempo early doors were the Spanish duo of Andrea Revuelta and Rocío Tejedo, who birdied three of the first four holes to go 4up before completing the job with an emphatic 8&6 win over Megan Meng and Irene Kim.
In a very tight second match, Nora Sundberg (Sweden) and Anna Cañado (Spain) secured a half after tying with Yana Wilson and Jasmine Koo. Champions from 2021 Francesca Fiorellini (Italy) and Denisa Vodickova (Czechia) earned the second full point after defeating Elizabeth Rudisill and Ryleigh Knaub 2&1 on the 17th hole.
Shortly after, the pair of Helen Briem (Germany) and Yana Beeli added another point thanks to a 3&2 victory over Gianna Clemente and Anna Davis – the winner of the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. And within minutes, Savannah De Bock (Belgium) and Cloe Amion (Spain) flooded the leaderboard with more blue winning 2&1 against Anna Song and Kathryn Ha. With one match remaining in the morning, the Swedish duo of Meja Örtengren & Josefin Widal then completed a phenomenal foursomes session by defeating Asterisk Talley and Leigh Chien 2&1 on the 17th hole.
FOURBALLS FINELY BALANCED
Honours were shared in the afternoon’s six fourballs matches, with both teams bagging three wins apiece to leave Europe needing just four points from Tuesday’s singles to retain the trophy.
The Spanish duo of Andrea Revuelta and Rocío Tejedo were unable to reach the same heights of the morning foursomes as they were defeated 3&2 by Elizabeth Rudisill and Kathryn Ha. Also paired together again were Francesca Fiorellini and Denisa Vodičková, who continued their excellent record together by dispatching Anna Song and Megan Meng 4&3.
In match three, USA clawed a point back as Gianna Clemente and Yana Wilson defeated Yana Beeli & Anna Cañado 1UP on the final hole. Having both clinched a point in morning foursomes, Josefin Widal and Cloe Amion earned another point for their side, winning 2&1 against Asterick Talley and Leigh Chien.
Savannah De Bock (Belgium) and Helen Briem (Germany) put on the performance of the afternoon carding eight birdies to beat Irene Kim & Ryleigh Knaub 5&4.
Match six then saw Anna Davis annd Jasmine Koo come from behind to defeat the Swedish pairing of Meja Örtengren and Nora Sundberg 3&2 to leave the scores at 8.5-3.5 heading into the final day.
EUROPE EDGES THE SINGLES
With 12 points up for grabs in the singles, the result of the match was still very much in the balance, providing Team USA could get some early points on the board. And that looked a strong possibility when Jasmine Koo dispatched Andrea Ruelta 2up in the first match to reduce the deficit to four points.
However, hopes of an away win were soon dashed when Francesca Fiorelli handed out a 5&3 beating to US star player Anna David in the second match, and then Sweden’s Nora Sundberg enjoyed a 4&2 win over Gianna Clemente in the third match to leave Europe requiring just two points from the remaining nine matches to retain the cup.
And after USA clawed back two point in matches 4 and 5 thank to narrow 1up wins from Yana Wilson and Kathryn Ha, it was left to Cloe Amion in match 6 and Helen Briem in match 8 to deliver the two points needed for the celebrations from the home team to begin.
And the victory was rubber stumped with wins from Denisa Vodickova, Savannah de Bock and Meja Ortengren, and a half point from Rocio Tejedo in the final four matches, to leave Europe 6.5-5.5 winners in the singles for an overall 15-9 vicotry.
Amion, De Bock, Fiorellini and Vodickova all enjoyed a clean sweep of wins in their three matches, which gave Europe its fourth win in the series, with Team USA still leading the overall standings with seven victories.
To check out all the scores from the 2023 PING Junior Solheim Cup, click here.