A sublime Europe, able to completely disrupt the American resistance during the two days of competition, has vindicated its importance in the PING Junior Solheim Cup, the vibrant prelude to the Solheim Cup that has been held with great success at the Old Course in La Zagaleta.
Europe wins the PING Junior Solheim Cup 2023
The slogans “Vamos Girls!” and “Go Europe!”, shouted by the young European players after beating their opponents by a resounding 15 to 9, are a preview of what may happen from Friday at Finca Cortesin, when the show proper of the Solheim Cup begins.
“Hopefully this result will encourage the seniors to beat the United States as well,” said the four Spaniards who contributed to Europe’s second consecutive victory in this competition in unison, with pride and satisfaction visible on their faces.
The team captained by France’s Gwladys Nocera had done their homework very well on the first day, when a significant 8.5 to 3.5 was on the scoreboard. That left them needing just four points from the twelve at stake in the individual matches, a goal that all the members of the European team had been working towards like a disciplined Roman legion since early in the morning of the decisive day.
Andrea Revuelta from Madrid, European leader in the first of the duels, with the experience of having won this tournament in 2021, was the example of the attitude of her whole team. At first she could not contain Jasmine Koo’s barrage of hits during the first part of the round, with three birdies and an eagle that put her four holes down on the 10th, but from that moment on, the courage and grit of the Spaniard reduced the disadvantage to the minimum.
The result did not matter – the Spaniard conceded on the last hole – but rather the predisposition, that warrior’s disposition so palpable that characterized the entire European team when facing all the matches. Some led to success, others to a draw and some more to defeat, the latter an anecdote in the context of a memorable performance that leads Europe to regain ground in the list of winners of this competition.
Second consecutive victory, fourth victory in history, captain Gwladys Nocera had distributed her pupils in an order of play that was crucial, potential points at the top of the court and more potential points at the bottom, a lethal combination that fructified in reality and turned the hopes of a U.S. comeback into nothing.
Among the Spaniards, special mention for the Valencian Cloe Amión, who won all three points in which she was involved. “I’m very proud, it’s great to have been here and to have contributed to Europe’s victory. It’s been an unforgettable experience, the truth is that it’s a dream,” she said emotionally.
She herself, along with the rest of her teammates, waited patiently for Rocío Tejedo from Castellón to finish her match on the 18th hole, the best place to celebrate in style the new European victory, the perfect incentive for the start of the Solheim Cup 2023 this Friday.
One of the highest results in history
The final score of 15-9 in favor of Europe, while still large, is by no means the most emphatic on record at the PING Junior Solheim Cup. That honor goes to the inaugural edition in 2002, when the United States outscored Europe 17-7, a ten-point lead that has not even come close since. By contrast, the narrowest margin was in 2003, when Europe beat the United States by 12.5 to 11.5. Going even further, the 2011 duel between Europeans and Americans ended in a draw.
Europe’s unquestionable victory in this edition of the Junior Solheim Cup means that the balance of victories in the winners’ list of both teams is narrowing. The United States still has a wide advantage, with 7 victories to its credit, but Europe has accumulated, with this one, its fourth victory, the second in a row, something that had not happened so far in the list of victories in this competition.
U.S. women golfers with their bags over their shoulders
A curious fact, which has drawn attention during these two days of vibrant competition, has been that the American golfers have carried their bag on their shoulders, without the help of any kind of trolley. In the United States this is the usual rule imposed by the USGA, but this circumstance may have weighed on them -never better said- given that the terrain of the Old Course, with numerous slopes, meant that some players arrived at some holes visibly tired.