Team Spain sweeps singles, wins inaugural International Crown
By Bernie D'Amato under LPGA

The inaugural International Crown started with eight teams, and ended with the Spanish quartet of Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Carlota Ciganda, and Belen Mozo winning with a dominant performance on Sunday. They swept their singles matches to win by four points over second place Sweden at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Belen Mozo clinched the crown with a birdie on the par-5 16th. Mozo didn’t know she made the winning putt until Carlota Ciganda told her. “And when I made it, Carlota grabbed me and she’s like, ‘that’s it, that’s it.'”

Spanish golf is in good hands, and this win should help grow the game even more. Munoz said, “We beat countries like America, Korea, everybody, Japan.  It was the top eight, and we won the tournament. So I can’t tell what’s going to happen, but I’m pretty confident that people at home are going to start being more and more supportive of us.”

It seems the International Crown is going to be a great event that will rival the Solheim Cup’s patriotic appeal. Beatriz said, “I truly believed in my team, that we could hold this trophy, but just the experience and the feel of it, you know.  I was fortunate to be a part of Solheim Cup, and it was exactly the same.  It’s just that feeling when you win as a team.  It is way beyond anything you can imagine.  If I have to put it in 120 characters, I’m just going to say, AWESOME in capital letters and a smiley face.”

Carlota Ciganda set the tone for Team Spain with an 8&6 victory over Na Yeon Choi of South Korea. Ciganda said, “I just love to play in match play and just we were talking and they were asking me, ‘What do you like to play?’ And I was like, I just want to play first, win the point, and then go support my teammates.”

That’s exactly what Ciganda and the rest of her teammates did. They supported one another, and showed the world they came to win.

Ciganda added, “I knew that we could do it, and I believed in this team more than anyone.  I know these girls very well, and that we really feel the [Spanish] flag.  We play a lot together, so I’m super proud, and thank you girls for such an amazing week.”

International Crown results.

–Bernie D’Amato