Ciganda survives meltdown to win in Korea

Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:49am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - Carlota Ciganda survived a late-round meltdown to beat an equally error-prone Alison Lee in a playoff at the $2 million KEB Hana Bank Championship on Sunday.

Spaniard Ciganda, a three-times winner on the Ladies European Tour and Order of Merit champion in 2012, squandered a four-shot lead with five holes to play but found herself in a playoff after Lee failed to par the last.

Korean-American Lee again found trouble on the 18th in the playoff, missing the fairway with her drive and second shot, before almost making birdie with a monster putt. Ciganda played with more control and sank an eight-foot putt for the win.

"It means the world to me, and it's nice to win here in Korea where women's golf is so big," Ciganda, still wearing a traditional Korean hanbok from the prize-giving ceremony, told a news conference.

"It's been a tough two years for me. My coach passed away two years ago ... so it's been a long journey but I love this life. I love being an athlete, I couldn't ask for a better life."

Ciganda was mentored by coach Rogelio Echeverria for almost 20 years before he passed away in 2014.

"This tournament is for my coach, he's up there watching me," she added.


Golf - LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship - Play-off Round - Incheon, South Korea - 16/10/16.  Carlota Ciganda of Spain celebrates on the eighteenth green after winning. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji