Carlota Ciganda cruised to a wire-to-wire win for her sixth LET title at Club de Golf Terramar on Sunday, despite losing her overnight lead with eight holes remaining at the Estrella Damm Ladies Open presented by Catalunya.
The Spanish star, who had already won the event in 2019, held a four-stroke advantage heading into the final round and looked set to be a comfortable win, but the five-time Solheim Cup player said afterwards: “Winning is never easy,” and she had to dig deep to hold off the chasing pack.
Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher, who started the day five strokes behind, took shots on the first and third holes and then made a four-game birdie streak from eighth to 11e to take the lead after Ciganda double-bogeyed on the ninth hole.
However, a three-putt bogey from Simmermacher on the long 12e hole ended his rally and from then on Ciganda fought for every shot and cries of “Vamos” echoed around the course.
Ciganda birdied the 12e and made a great sand stop at 13e, holing a clutch putt from 20 feet. Although she let go and made a bogey at 14, she closed in style, with an eagle at 16, a birdie at 17 and then a bogey at 18 for a final round of 70 and a total of 72 holes of 270, 18 – below normal.
A relieved Ciganda was on cloud nine after winning another title on home soil, having also won the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España in November. She said: “I love playing here in Spain and winning here is always special. My family is here and I have a lot of support. There is always an extra motivation to win here and I love that: it’s great.
“Winning is never easy. I started with a birdie on the first hole, a number two bogey, then good birdies at par five. I just hit a bad tee shot on the nine and it cost me a double. It was a bit fragile and it wasn’t easy but I’m very happy with how I managed. That eagle on 16 was amazing, then a birdie on the next.
“I looked at the leaderboard on 11 and just thought if you do what you have to do you’ll be fine. I didn’t look too much, but I saw on 17 that I was two or three ahead, so that was good.
Scotland’s Laura Beveridge, who shot a 66, finished two strokes behind for her career-best second-place result, a week after her tie for fourth at the Amundi German Masters.
Beveridge said: “I really enjoyed this week from the start. I had my husband, Keil, on the bag, and we worked a lot on pace and how I am on the golf course, trying to be super relaxed. I think Spain is a perfect place to do that, you know, have a plate of tapas in the evening and maybe a glass of wine. I just took it easy this week.
“My putting has improved and I’m more comfortable on the golf course. Everyone takes time to find themselves and how they are as a pro and it’s just nice to be me on the course. I can show emotion, react however I want, I’m pretty friendly and talkative on the golf course and it’s just accepting that’s how I want to play. It’s good that I can now perform in myself.
Simmermacher and Elin Arvidsson of Sweden finished third at 15 under.
Arvidsson, who scored her best round of 64, containing eight birdies, said afterwards: “I started with five straight pars and the girls in my group were birdies and I just tried to stay patient and I I thought the chances would come I think that was the best I could have done, to stay in the moment I made a good sand stop on 10 which caused it to roll a bit , then I hit 12 in two and just had an easy putt, so I made a few putts and hit it close.
Simmermacher, who closed with a 68, commented, “I played really well all day and halfway through the round I had a good streak of birdies. I was just stepping over the ball and making the putt, but then the three-putt on number 12 got me a little depressed. I played good golf for the rest of the round, but didn’t putt. I made some good saves and my brother, Santiago, was watching from outside the ropes. He said I was always going for the pins on every hole and that’s why I had some really tough ups and downs. Once I lost my mind I wanted to get it back, so I kept looking for the pins and ended up in the worst places possible, but managed to save pars from a lot of places, so I’m happy.
Sweden’s Maja Stark finished fifth in solo, extending her lead in the season-long Race to Costa del Sol, while Belgium’s Manon de Roey finished sixth with four other players tied for seventh: Anne Lise Caudal of France, Lydia Hall of Wales and Spanish pair Ana Pelaez Trivino and Nuria Iturrioz.