Saturday, December 9, 2023

Trio from Women’s Golf on Team Europe for Solheim Cup – Arizona State University Athletics

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TEMPE – Sun Devil Women’s Golf greats Anna Nordqvist, Carlota Ciganda, and Linn Grant have been selected to compete in the 2023 Solheim Cup as part of Team Europe.

By virtue of their standing in the Rolex World Golf Rankings, the Sun Devil trio qualified for the prestigious Ryder Cup-inspired event featuring the top female golfers in the World. Team Europe will take on Team USA in three-days of match play-style competition, running Sept. 22-24 at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Malaga, Spain. The contest will be broadcasted nationally on GOLF Channel/NBC and Sky Sports, with live coverage provided all three days.

“We take great pride in our European connection, so to see three alumni on Team Europe for the Solheim Cup is exciting for the program,” Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. 

In the 18th edition of the Solheim Cup, the first day features four foursome (alternate shot) matches in a morning session and four fourball (better ball) matches in an afternoon session. A total of eight players from each team participate in each session. The format remains the same for day two, setting up for a typically dramatic day three finish. All 12 players participate in 12 head-to-head singles matches on Friday, Sept. 22, with a winner crowned based on total points over the three days. 

“Our current European players will be tuned-in to watch,” Coach Farr-Kaye added. “They realize they are at the right place to elevate their game and earn opportunities to play in events like this.”

Nordqvist and Ciganda are no strangers to International competition, consistently representing their country and continent at the highest level. The pair participated in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, each making their second-career Olympic appearance.

This will be Nordqvist eighth consecutive Solheim Cup, having competed in every edition since 2009. This time she has been appointed as a Vice-Captain of the European side, serving as a playing assistant for team captain Suzann Pettersen. Ciganda has a history of her own at the Solheim Cup, making her sixth-straight appearance, participating in each matchup since 2013. They have both been a part of ,three Solheim Cup Championships with Team Europe, capturing the crown in 2013, 2019, and most recently in 2021. Nordqvist and fellow Sun Devil Azahara Munoz were also on the victorious 2011 team.

Grant is making her Solheim Cup debut, a full circle moment for the Sun Devil, as she also competed in the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup. Grant is only one of three rookies on Team Europe, joined by fellow Swede Maja Stark and Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh. Despite her lack of Solheim Cup experience, this will be familiar territory for Grant, as she has appeared in International competition while representing the Continent of Europe on the winning 2019 Vagliano Trophy team. She was also a member of the Team International at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup.

Sun Devil Women’s Golf has a tradition with Team USA as well, will several Sun Devil greats suiting up for the Red, White, and Blue in Solheim competition. 2023 U.S. Senior Women’s Open participants Brandie Burton, Wendy Ward, and Danielle Ammaccapane along with Emilee Klein and Heather Bowie have each represented their country at the highest level. 

Recent Arizona State products Linnea Strom, Olivia Mehaffey, Alexandra Forsterling, and Alessandra Fanali will be eligible for Team Europe in 2025 and have their sights set on future Solheim Cups. 

The first Solheim Cup took place back in 1990 and Team USA currently holds a 10-7 lead in the event heading into the 2023 Solheim Cup. The European team has secured the coveted Waterford Crystal trophy at back-to-back Solheim Cups, including a 15-13 in 2021. Anna Nordqvist’s is considered one of the top Solheim Cup competitors in the history of the event, going 14-10-3 in seven prior appearances. Carlota Ciganda is responsible for seven match wins and nine total points during her Solheim Cup career.

The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten and Louise Solheim, the founders of Phoenix-based Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. The Solheim’s were among the largest contributors to the construction of the former home of the Sun Devil Golf programs from 1994-2018, Karsten Golf Course.

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