(Photo credit: Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Many of the best golfers in the world are coming to Carlota Ciganda's doorstep and the standout from Spain is ready to thrive amid the excitement and adrenaline.
Ciganda will compete for the favored European squad against the United States at the Solheim Cup, which begins Friday at the Finca Cortesin in Casares, Andalusia, Spain.
The Pamplona native and Arizona State alum is a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour and has seven wins on the European Ladies Tour. She will be making her sixth Solheim Cup appearance, helping Europe win each of the last two titles. She also won in 2013.
"I think we have a great team because we have some players with experience and then some younger ones, so I think it's a great mix," Ciganda said. "I think it's always important to have a few rookies that bring the energy and the excitement that they really want to play. So I think we have a great mix. Everyone is playing very solid, so I think we have a great team."
Charley Hull of England and Celine Boutier of France will anchor the team, along with standouts like Maja Stark, Anna Nordqvist and Linn Grant of Sweden, Georgia Hall of England and Leona Maguire of Ireland. Other team members from Sweden include Caroline Hedwall and Madelene Sagstrom. Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland and Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark round out the team.
Ciganda, 33, acknowledged the rush of emotions she will feel when competition begins this weekend, but instead of pressure, she considers it "just fun."
"I'm going to embrace it and I think it's going to be great to have all the support from Spain, from my family, lots of members from my club," she said. "So I'm just going to try to go out there and enjoy (it). I know I'm going to feel nervous and I'm going to feel that adrenaline. I know I can play great golf with that, so I'm just going to enjoy and embrace every moment."
Morning foursomes and afternoon four-ball will comprise the competition the first two days leading to head-to-head singles matches on Sunday.
"The course can be quite tricky with the wind," Ciganda said. "I think it's going to get windy on the weekend. So, yeah, the greens are pretty slopey, undulating, so you have to hit good shots, and I think the speed of the green is key this week to make putts."
Ciganda's record in Solheim Cup competition is 7-8-4 (nine points). She is the only member from either team with three career wins in singles competition.
--Field Level Media