Salpointe's Quihuis leads USA Golf to title - Tucson News Now

Salpointe's Quihuis leads USA Golf to title

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Krystal (third from the right in back row) and her teammates with Solheim Cup. Krystal (third from the right in back row) and her teammates with Solheim Cup.

ENGLEWOOD, CO. – Salpointe Catholic golfer Krystal Quihuis sank a 25-foot putt from the fringe of the green on the 18th hole of her match against Italy's Virginia Elena Carta to clinch a third consecutive victory for Team USA over Europe in the PING Junior Solheim Cup.

The Americans won the Cup with a score of 14.5-9.5. The day began in a 6-6 tie, but the Americans claimed seven singles matches and halved three to win.

The PING Junior Solheim Cup is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match play competition featuring the 12 best female junior golfers (ages 12-18) from Europe and the United States. Matches include four-ball, foursomes and singles. The 2013 event is hosting the seventh PING Junior Solheim Cup, in which Team USA leads the all-time series, 4-2-1.

Team USA controlled the match 11-8 when the deciding point fell on the No. 18 green with the  Quihuis and Carta.

The two-time Arizona state individual champion led 1-up through No. 7. Carta battled back with birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 to take a 1-up lead of her own. Quihuis rolled in a long birdie on No. 11 and the match was all square through No. 16.

Sticking with the motif of the day, the pair left the decision until the last two holes. This match was one of seven that ended on either No. 17 or 18. Carta bogeyed No. 17, giving Quihuis the 1-up advantage. Quihuis missed the green on No. 18 and was faced with a birdie-putt from the fringe which she nailed, winning 1-up and giving the United States the final point it needed to claim the Cup.

The PING Junior Solheim Cup was especially meaningful to those playing in their last junior event. Team USA's younger players were happy to send their graduated teammates off with a win.

"We played our best today, I was glad we were able to do it during singles," said Alexandra Kaui of Las Vegas. "We played solid and really had a lot of heart out there. We couldn't be more proud this week. For those of us who graduate, it was the best way to end our junior career."

Quihuis is entering her senior year at Salpointe Catholic where she's helped lead the girls team to two consecutive state championships.

She committed earlier this year to continue her golf career at UA playing for coach Laura Ianello.

Copyright 2013 American Junior Golf Association. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.

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