Fresh from a break back home in Navarra following the LPGA Tour’s Asian leg – where she won the KEB Hana Bank Championship – Carlota Ciganda returned to the champion’s podium in Mexico. Competing in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational (the penultimate event of the LPGA season), Ciganda closed with a four-under 68 to win by two shots from Austin Ernst, Sarah Jane Smith, Angela Stanford, Karine Icher and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
“I am very happy to be here and to get my second victory. It’s wonderful to play here in Mexico and I honestly don’t have any words,” said Ciganda. “I love the golf course, the people; it’s an honour to be here. I’ve been playing really good all year long and to end this year with these two victories gives me a lot of confidence. I am very happy.”
Ciganda had shared the first-round lead on five-under with Australian playing partner Sarah Jane Smith, who was still seeking her first LPGA Tour title. ''I really like this course,'' said the Spaniard at the end of the first day’s play. ''It is really similar to my home course in Spain. I was home last week and I played four tournaments in Asia, so it was really nice to be home with my family. I didn't practice at all. It was just resting and having fun, going out for dinner with friends. And I feel very mentally refreshed, because in Asia I was a little bit tired at the end. It is important how to manage all the tournaments and all the weeks you want to play.''
Smith was also happy to be playing alongside Ciganda, whose breakthrough victory in South Korea made her only the fourth Spaniard to win on the LPGA Tour. ''I love playing with her, she is so nice and we always have fun, so it absolutely makes a difference.''