Carlota Ciganda, performance for golf history

In a decade, twenty or thirty years, when the 2023 Solheim Cup is remembered, Carlota Ciganda's name will be the first to appear, without a doubt

by Andrea Gussoni
Carlota Ciganda, performance for golf history
© Getty Images Sport - Douglas P. DeFelice / Stringer

In a decade, twenty or thirty years, when the 2023 Solheim Cup is remembered, Carlota Ciganda's name will be the first to appear, without a doubt. The 33-year-old player from Pamplona starred in a performance that will be recorded in the history of golf, both in the men's and women's categories, as well as in the world of sport in general.

What Ciganda achieved on the Finca Cortesín field in Malaga has been a milestone that few athletes have achieved. The Navarrese player became a legend in her own country, in front of her public. This feat, together with a career that has lasted more than a decade, always rubbing shoulders with the best players on the planet, led Ciganda to receive the AS Sports Award this Monday at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Carlota Ciganda, news

It is indisputable that Carlota is the best Spanish golfer of all time, something unusual in a sport where players from different eras are always in constant debate. No other player has achieved as much success and has broken as many barriers as Ciganda, being the only Spanish player to reach the top-10 in the world ranking.

With ten wins as a professional, including two on the LPGA Tour, and being named LET Player of the Year and Order of Merit in her first season in 2012, Carlota has made her power clear. Additionally, she has seven top-fives in majors and has won four of her six Solheim Cup appearances.

This impressive track record is even more notable when you consider that she grew up torn between soccer (she is the niece of Cuco Ziganda ) and golf. However, the only achievement he lacks is one more great title, at least, to round out a career that few can match in a sport as complicated as golf, where you can go from being at the top to the bottom in a blink of an eye.

Fortunately, Carlota has demonstrated exceptional ability in adapting to the ups and downs of this challenging sport. The legendary Carlota arrived in Casares last September with a firm purpose: to contribute her experience so that the European team could achieve a historic third consecutive title in the Solheim Cup.

Fortune seemed to move away from the hand of runner-up Suzann Pettersen, who decided to leave the Navarrese expert out of the first turn, resulting in a crushing 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Americans. At that crucial moment, Ciganda emerged.

And the rest is history. The Spaniard played four games, all of them gloriously triumphant. Two of them were against Lilia Vu, winner of two major tournaments this year, and the final one was against former world number one and prominent member of the American team, Nelly Korda.

The events at Finca Cortesin seemed to have been taken from the script of the best Hollywood writers: everything was decided in the match of Ciganda, who became a legend in her own land and secured the decisive point for the Europeans.

What a memorable victory! “It is a true honor to be here today, grateful to AS for this wonderful recognition. It's gratifying to see sports like golf, which are often overlooked, receive the attention they deserve. In the wake of Jon Rahm's achievements, I hope this sport continues to gain the recognition it deserves.

I have been playing golf for 12 years and I enjoy what I do every day. It would be my greatest wish to be able to win an important tournament for Spain. Additionally, I would like to highlight my support for Jon Rahm's decision to join the LIV Sports Tournament.

It's understandable that any player in his position would have accepted a similar offer. As a fellow golfer and as a person, I have great respect for Jon, who has achieved great victories in his career and brought much joy to our community.

I thank Pedro Rico, CEO of Vithas, for presenting me with the AS Sports Award tonight at the Teatro Real. “As a great Athletic Club fan, it has been an unforgettable night to have the opportunity to take photos with several of the team's players”.