Weekend winners: Ciganda makes breakthrough on LPGA Tour
LPGA Tour: Hana Bank Championship – Carlota Ciganda
Ciganda claimed her first win on the LPGA Tour in incredible circumstances. The Spaniard was five ahead of Alison Lee, then five clear after six birdies in the first 10 holes before the pair finally ended the 72 holes on 10 under.
The Spaniard started like a train, going out in 31 before picking up another shot at the 10th while Lee went the other way.
Ciganda then played a dreadful bunker shot at the 14th to run up a double and saw further shots slip away at 16 and 18. The American then finally found her game with birdies at 15 and 17 to leave herself needing a par at the last to win. But her approach ended up wet and she had to hole a six-footer to make the play-off.
The initiative was with Ciganda after a precise approach to the first extra hole, Lee then nearly chipped in across the green with a brilliant recovery to the hole side and Ciganda knocked in the winning putt.
What Ciganda said: “To be honest, I didn’t look at the leaderboard until I think it was on 12. I saw I was winning by five. I wasn’t expecting that. I was thinking the winning number maybe 15-under. I just was thinking to myself, just stay in the present. Try to hit the next shot the best I can.
“When I made that double I was thinking about the result. I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous on the last three, four holes. But I was positive. I just tried my best and I tried to play each shot the best I could. So it’s not that I was giving up or anything. It’s very special because it’s been tough the last two years. At the same time, I like fighting and everything.”
— #LPGAAsianSwing (@LPGA) October 16, 2016
LET: Xiamen International – Anne Van Dam
This was a first win for the Netherlands player after finishing one shot ahead of local star Yuting Shi. Van Dam shot a 68 to win by one with both players making birdies at the 17th before teenager Shi’s final drive hit a drive and rebounded 30 yards which resulted in a bogey.
Van Dam two-putted from the back of the green for her maiden success in a tournament which was almost cancelled three weeks earlier due to a huge typhoon. The players donated 10 per cent of their earnings to local relief efforts.
What Van Dam said: “It’s a big boost. I mean, it’s my second year on tour and so far I didn’t reach my potential at all, so it’s pretty sweet to get this win.
“I said to myself, stay patient, because you never know what can happen. I mean, 16, 17, were absolutely crazy. On 16, I had a perfect distance for my gap wedge. I just looked at the pin and wanted to hole that shot. From the first hole, I pretty much just tried to hole every approach shot into the green.”