The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Spain wins all 4 singles events to best Sweden and claim the inaugural International Crown

  • Print

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Their bond goes far beyond their designation as teammates, and as a whole they are far more than merely a quartet of players thrown together to represent Spain.

The foursome that won the inaugural International Crown on Sunday have been friends on and off the golf course for years, which goes a long way toward explaining why Spain played so well as the fifth seed against many of the finest women golfers in the world.

Carlota Ciganda breezed to an early victory to set the tone, and Spain won all four of its singles matches in the final round to win the coveted trophy.

"Even though we were maybe the underdogs because of the seedings, I knew deep inside that what you need in a team championship is what we have," said Belen Mozo, who clinched the title with a 3-and-2 win over Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand. "We have always played together, we have always won together. Coming in, we knew we had that advantage over the other teams."

Sweden finished second in the tournament that began Thursday with 32 players from eight countries. The top-seeded United States was among three teams eliminated Saturday, leaving five countries and 20 players to compete for the trophy.

Spain began the final round tied for second behind Japan, but Ciganda immediately gave the Spaniards a boost by beating Na Yeon Choi of South Korea 8 and 6. Beatriz Recari followed with a 3-and-2 victory over Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden, and Mozo's clinching victory set off an impromptu celebration on the 16th hole that began with a jubilant Recari jumping into Mozo's arms.

Azahara Munoz completed the sweep by beating Ai Miyazato of Japan 2 and 1.

Munoz and Ciganda played at this same Caves Valley course in helping Arizona State win the 2009 NCAA women's championship. Munoz, Ciganda and Recari participated on the last two Solheim Cup champions for Europe.

"We're so good as a team because we're used to, since we were younger, playing together," Munoz said. "I always played with Belen and Carlota. They were always my foursome partners. It just is so special to be on a team with them."

Points accumulated through Saturday were added to those amassed Sunday. Using the scoring system of two points for a win and one for a tie, the final order was: Spain (15 points), Sweden (11), South Korea (10), Japan (10), Thailand (9), United States (6), Taiwan (4) and Australia (3).

"We are all superstars, we all did our roles and we are all No. 1," Mozo declared.

Japan entered the final round with a one-point lead but lost three of four matches, its lone win coming when Mika Miyazato beat Onnarin Sattayabanphot of Thailand 3 and 1.

"We all like to play under pressure and we know we can do it. It just didn't happen," Ai Miyazato said. "It wasn't our week, but it was an amazing experience."

Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg topped Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand 6 and 5, taking the lead for good at No. 1 and winning at 10, 11 and 12 to pull away. But the Swedes' bid to win the tournament fizzled when Caroline Hedwall lost to South Korea's Inbee Park, 4 and 2.

Although Sweden didn't come home with the trophy, at least one team member left with a fond memory.

"I've gotten to show myself on the biggest stage that I've been on so far and it feels like I've really take advantage of that," said Lindberg, 28, who was playing in her first match-play event. "It's been so much fun, just over expectations for everyone."

Park, meanwhile, rode the momentum generated by Saturday's wild-card playoff win over the U.S. to breeze past Hedwall. That left South Korea with at least an outside shot of capturing the event.

"It was important to win the first match. It kind of gives everyone hope and some energy to play well," Park said.

That's how it worked for Spain. Alas, South Korea could not sustain the momentum.

Not long after Park won, Choi walked off the course after 12 holes in her mismatch against Ciganda, and South Korea's chances grew even dimmer when I.K. Kim lost to Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand 1 up.

So Yeon Ryu's 1-up win over Sakura Yokomine of Japan left South Korea at 2-2 for the afternoon.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google