Carlota Ciganda emulates England’s Charlie Hull with Aramco Team Series win in Florida
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda followed in the footsteps of fellow former European No1 Charley Hull by winning the US leg of the Aramco Team Series in Florida on Sunday.
Ciganda held her nerve at the end of a testing final round to clinch her seventh Ladies European Tour title, beating Czech Klara Davidson Spilkova by one shot at Trump International, West Palm Beach.
England’s Hull won the individual prize at the 2021 Aramco Team Series in New York, and Ciganda was delighted to emulate her Solheim Cup team-mate, another LET order of merit winner who also plays on the LPGA Tour.
“To win, I think it’s always special. It’s not easy to win nowadays – there are a lot of good players and a lot of the youngsters are coming very strong,” she said.
“To come here and win also with some big names like Lexi [Thompson], Lydia Ko and Alison Lee – they are all great players – and the top Europeans.”
Ciganda and Spilkova were the only two players to finish under par in trying conditions, the 32-year-old from the Basque Country sealing victory with a par putt that left her on two under.
The eventual winner endured a rollercoaster day after being one off the lead overnight, making four birdies to mitigate three bogeys and double in a closing 73.
She added: “I thought patience was the key for this week. It’s a very tricky golf course – pretty much every hole has a creek or a lake or a hazard. You have to hit it to the right spot.
“I thought not even five or 10 people were going to finish under par just because of the wind and the course. I played really well all three days. My putting was great as well.
“I’m very happy to get it done. On the last I was nervous, I’m not going to lie, and I think I held myself pretty good and very happy to get it done.”
Former world No1 Lydia Ko finished third a further shot back, alongside Germany’s Olivia Cowan, whose 68 was the low round of the day.
Ciganda’s compatriot Nuria Iturrioz had looked the most likely Iberian to win the $500,000 individual contest but lost her overnight lead with an 83 that left her seven over and tied for 28th.
Iturrioz could at least console herself with being part of Pauline Roussin’s winning quartet in the team competition that runs parallel for the first two rounds of Aramco Team Series events.
Team Roussin, which also featured English veteran Trish Johnson, 57, and amateur Michael Bickford, finished on 25 under par to win by two from South African Casandra Alexander’s four.