Europe’s female juniors got Solheim Cup week off to a good start for the host continent, handily defeating the United States, 15-9, in the 12th Ping Junior Solheim Cup on Tuesday at La Zagaleta Golf Club’s Old Course in Benehavís, Spain.
The biennial match precedes this weekend’s Solheim Cup, which will pit Europe’s top female professionals against their counterparts from America. That three-day match begins Friday at Finca Cortesín in Casares, farther southwest on the Costa del Sol.
Europe took control of the Junior Solheim Cup from the start, winning five matches and halving the sixth in Monday morning foursomes. Though the Americans split the afternoon four-balls session, the tone had been set as Europe cruised into the final day with a five-point lead. Europe went 6-5-1 in the singles session to pad its final advantage.
The victory, a second consecutive for Europe, trims America’s series lead to 7-4-1 in a series that has shown some similarities with the women’s match, in which the Europeans have won the past two matches to cut the U.S. series lead to 10-7.
“The first time was special because it was in America, but this one was way better,” said Europe’s Helen Briem, a German who went 2-1 for the week and also played on the victorious 2021 team in Sylvania, Ohio. “To win two times in a row is indescribable.”
“Being a captain is easy when you have a team like this,” said France’s Gwladys Nocera, who led Team Europe. “We really loved the course, but I think it was due to a really good preparation. These girls know how to do it, and they work really hard. I have to congratulate them for all the work they have put in during the season and over these two days of completion.”
“This is a dream come true. Just being here is great, but to win is amazing.” – Cloe Amion
Cloe Amion (Spain), Savannah De Bock (Belgium), Francesca Fiorellini (Italy) and Denisa Vodickova (Czech Republic) led the Europeans by winning three points each in as many matches.
“This is a dream come true. Just being here is great, but to win is amazing,” Amion said.
Jasmine Koo, a Southern Cal commit from Cerritos, California, and Yana Wilson, an Oregon commit from Henderson, Nevada, were the only Americans to emerge undefeated, posting 2-0-1 records.
“I think it’s just so cool because we’re all so different,” said Briem, who paired with Switzerland’s Yana Beeli and Sweden’s Josefin Widal to win points in Monday’s foursomes and four-balls, respectively. “We’re from different countries but fight together. We have so many personalities which is so cool. We were really focused the last few days and the fun part is still to come. I’m really looking forward to the Solheim Cup. It’s going to be a really cool four days.”
The teens will be able to watch a number of Junior Solheim Cup alumnae who graduated to the big stage this weekend, including recent American participants Rose Zhang (2017, 2019) and Andrea Lee (2013, 2015), who will be Solheim Cup rookies.
Information from the American Junior Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour was used in compiling this report.
Photos Courtesy LET
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