CASARES, Spain — It took the home-crowd favorite to help Europe do just enough to keep the Solheim Cup.
With a big finish by Spain's Carlota Ciganda on Sunday, the Europeans retained the Solheim Cup after securing a first-ever tie, 14-14, with the United States in the biennial event that is the premier international team competition in women's golf.
"There's nothing like this," Ciganda said. "To play in Spain in front of your home crowd, and to have my name being chanted, it's really amazing, very special and just something that I won't forget."
The U.S. needed a win to get the trophy back after two consecutive losses against Europe. It's the first time Europe has secured three straight Solheim Cups against the United States.
The teams split the 12 decisive singles matches on the final day to finish tied, with jubilant Europe keeping the trophy.
Ciganda, the only Spaniard on the European roster, came up with two superb approach shots on the closing holes — including on the 145-yard par-3 17th — and made the near tap-in putts for consecutive birdies that secured the clinching 14th point for Europe.
She beat Nelly Korda 2 and 1 for her fourth straight victory after sitting out Friday morning's opening session. She was the only player to win four matches this week.
Ciganda's teammates raised her on their shoulders, and the celebration continued with champagne being splashed around by the Europeans.
"It was a team effort, and I'm so proud of everyone," Ciganda said. "I love the Solheim Cup and I love being in Spain. The cup stays where it belongs."
Norway's Suzann Pettersen, the Europe captain who four years ago made the winning putt to win the Solheim Cup as a player, raised the trophy in front of her squad. Ciganda then raised it high in front of the chanting fans at Finca Cortesin.
"I think it was meant to be," said Pettersen, who earlier in the event said she felt like she needed to put Ciganda on a "leash" to keep her grounded. "This is all Carlota, let her have it."
Spain's King Felipe VI helped present the trophy to the winners. He praised the players and gave Ciganda a hug.
The teams entered the final day tied 8-8 after the U.S. got off to its best start ever with a 4-0 win in the foursome matches on Friday morning, but Europe won three points in that afternoon's fourball matches and steadily rallied over the weekend.
"This is a dream come true. We had a massive challenge ahead of us. Today we created history yet again in the Solheim Cup, and these girls are legends," said Pettersen, who added that she plans to be back as captain next year.
The Europeans arrived touted as the favorites after bringing an experienced squad to Spain, but the U.S. kept it close with a talented group of youngsters who had won big tournaments recently.
"I don't want to sound like a sore loser, but it was a tie, and I think that's a lot for this team to build off of, especially coming over here, coming into this environment with five rookies, a very young and inexperienced team," U.S. captain Stacy Lewis said. "I mean, this week was really, really good for them."
Each team won five matches on the final day, with two ties.
Ireland's Leona Maguire defeated American rookie sensation Rose Zhang 4 and 3 in one of the most anticipated singles showdowns. The 20-year-old Zhang, considered one of the next top stars in golf, had a disappointing week and finished without a win in three matches.
Sweden's Anna Nordqvist, also acting as a vice captain for Europe, beat Jennifer Kupcho 2 and 1 for her first win of the week. Swedish rookie Maja Stark defeated U.S. Women's Open champion Allisen Corpuz 2 and 1, while Sweden's Caroline Hedwall, one of the captain's picks for Europe, beat Ally Ewing 2 up.
Hedwall was key in pulling Europe closer in the end by finishing her match with four birdies and an eagle in the last six holes.
"You know, I never give up, and I showed that today," the 34-year-old said. "I mean, I'm just so proud of myself and, wow, that was awesome."
American Megan Khang won the opening pairing 1 up against Sweden's Linn Grant; Danielle Kang had a 4-and-2 win over England's Charley Hull; Angel Yin beat France's Celine Boutier 2 and 1; and Lilia Vu defeated Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom 4 and 3 for her first win of the week. Boutier, the highest-ranked European, lost all three matches she played.
The singles ties Sunday came between Andrea Lee and England's Georgia Hall, and Cheyenne Knight and Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh.
Europe won consecutive Solheim Cups at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2019, and Toledo, Ohio, in 2021.
Spain was hosting the Solheim Cup for the first time, 26 years after it hosted the Ryder Cup — the men's equivalent to this event — at Real Club Valderrama. This year's Ryder Cup starts Thursday in Italy, and it will be the first time both events are held in back-to-back weeks in Europe.
They were held in consecutive weeks in 2002, when the Ryder Cup matches were postponed a year by the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Solheim Cup was in Minnesota and the Ryder Cup was in England. The Solheim Cup will be played again in 2024 so both events are contested in opposite years.
Next year's Solheim Cup will be at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.
DeChambeau has closing power
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — Bryson DeChambeau shot a 6-under 28 on the back nine at Rich Harvest Fams, closed with one last birdie on his penultimate hole, and won the LIV Golf League's Chicago tournament by one shot over India's Anirban Lahiri and Australia's Marc Leishman.
DeChambeau finished with an 8-under 63 for a winning 54-hole total of 13-under 200. He began his final round on the fourth hole under LIV's shotgun start format, made his only bogey on the par-4 ninth, then reeled off four birdies in five holes.
It was the second LIV win of the season for DeChambeau, whose Crushers — including Lahiri — won the team competition by three shots. He closed with a 12-under 58 to win LIV's Greenbrier event in early August.
Lahiri (69) and Leishman (66) finished a shot ahead of Colombia's Sebastian Munoz (73), who had a three-shot lead after Saturday's play.
Jaidee steps up at Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee has his second PGA Tour Champions victory, beating Justin Leonard on the fourth playoff hole in the Pure Insurance Championship when his American counterpart hooked his tee shot into a penalty area abutting the Pacific Ocean on the par-5 18th at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Jaidee finished with a two-putt par. Leonard had to play his third shot from the tee box and made a double-bogey 7.
The 53-year-old Jaidee has 19 international wins, including six on the European circuit. He picked up his first win on the 50-and-older tour last year in Wisconsin.
The 51-year-old Leonard, who won the British Open in 1997, has yet to win on the senior tour, where he returned to competition after working as a television commentator.
Jaidee closed with a 5-under 67 and Leonard shot a 68 to finish at 14-under 202 in the 54-hole event. Each parred the 18th on his first try in the playoff, and they traded birdies when they played it again. Jaidee got up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-3 17th to extend the playoff.
India's Arjun Atwal (69) was third, three shots back, while American player Paul Stankowski (70) was fourth at 10 under.
'Go, go, go' for the win
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Ryo Hisatsune closed with a 5-under 66 and finished 72 holes at Le Golf National at 14-under 270, posting a two-stroke victory in the French Open.
It's the 21-year-old Japanese golfer's first win on the Europe-based DP World Tour. Hisatsune, whose five birdies on the back nine helped him jump up four places in the final round, said he simply decided to play "more aggressive, like 'Go, go, go.'"
Denmark's Jeff Winther (65) moved 10 spots up the leaderboard to share second place with England's Jordan Smith (72), who had been tied with Scotland's Ewen Ferguson for the lead after 54 holes. Ferguson had a nightmare start to his final round with consecutive double bogeys, and his 76 — which included two bogeys either side of his only birdie — dropped him into a tie for 10th at 8 under.