Solheim Cup star Carlota Ciganda landed her first professional victory on home soil after snatching a one-shot win at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open.
Ciganda negotiated the windy conditions and a firm and fast Terramar course in a creditable 71 which was just enough to hold off a valiant late charge from Esther Henseleit on the final day in Sitges.
Overnight leader Laura Fuenfstueck endured a nightmare start when she went out of bounds with her opening tee shot and also made a mess of the second, here back-to-back double-bogeys opening the door for Ciganda to pounce.
The Spaniard, who played a crucial part in Europe’s thrilling Solheim Cup win at Gleneagles two weeks ago, mixed three birdies with as many bogeys and parred the final five holes to post a winning score of eight under, with rookie Henseleit claiming her fourth runner-up finish of the Ladies European Tour season.
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Ciganda, whose win was her fourth on the LET and her first in over six years, said: “I’m very happy to win in Spain, with all the people here. My family is here and playing in Spain is always very special. It was a tough day and it was very windy, with some crazy gusts on the course.
“I played pretty solid and tried to make the fairways, hit the greens and make a few putts. I played the par-fives pretty good but I knew people were going to make mistakes, because it was playing quite tough.
“Towards the end, I saw that Esther was six or seven under, but I wanted to get to 10 – that was my aim for the day. I thought if I could get to 10 under I would be fine, but it was tough to get those birdies on the last few holes. The wind was quite strong, so I was happy to make those pars and win the tournament.”
Henseleit’s consolation was increasing her lead in both the LET Order of Merit and the Rookie of the Year race, and the young German closed with her second 68 of the weekend after recovering from bogeys at the fifth and sixth with five birdies over the next seven holes.