Amundi Evian Championship

LPGA Tour pro calls out rules officials in response to DQ over slow-play penalty



The decision Carlota Ciganda made on Friday during the second round of the Amundi Evian Championship was as bold as it appeared bizarre. In the wake of being told she was receiving a two-shot penalty for breaching the LPGA Tour’s Pace of Play Policy (and then having her appeal of the decision heard and denied), the 33-year-old LPGA veteran refused to add the two shots to her final hole. By signing for a one-over 72 at France’s Evian Resort Golf Club rather than a three-over 74, she knew the consequences—disqualification for signing for a score lower than she shot—but chose to do it anyway.

According to an LPGA statement, Ciganda’s group, which included Anna Nordqvist and Celine Herbin, received a warning that they were out of position on the seventh hole, (their 16th of the day). Still out of position after the conclusion of the hole, the group was timed starting on the eighth hole. On the ninth hole, LPGA officials said that Ciganda’s shot times prompted a penalty for slow play.

Ciganda was playing in the event for the 10th time in her career, finishing T-3 a year ago, and her frustration with the situation was evident later as she took to Instagram and explained her side of the story.

“I got a few messages about the DQ from yesterday,” she wrote in an Instagram story. “I want to be very clear and the reason I did not sign a 7 on the last hole is because I don’t think I took 52 seconds like the Rules Official said. I had a 10 footer on the last hole, last put [sic] and the group behind they were not even on the tee on a par 5. Very poor performance from the LPGA rules official, they don’t understand what professional golf is about, they only look at their stopwatch like if 20 seconds is going to make a difference. I had family and friends watching and they all said it was impossible I took that long to hit that putt!

“Yesterday was tough out there with windy conditions and difficult pins and I wish everyone gets treated the same and they don’t pick on the same players all the time! That’s all!”


Golf Digest reached out to tournament officials if they had a response to Ciganda's comments but had yet to hear from them at the time of publishing this story.

Conditions indeed were more challenging during Friday’s second round, with the field average jumping to 74.7 compared to 71.75.

Ciganda’s reference to picking on the same players likely stems from the fact that while it's rare officials hand out stroke penalties for slow play on the LPGA Tour, she has received one before. At the 2021 Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play event, she initially thought she won the 18th with a birdie and, in turn, the match with Sarah Schmelzel. After the round, she was notified of a bad time, turning the hole and match from a victory to a loss due to the penalty.

Had Ciganda signed for a 74, it would have been added to the 74 she shot in the first round, and she would have missed the cut at Evian by two strokes. But instead of taking the MC, she chose the DQ.

Ciganda has played on the LPGA Tour since 2013 and is a two-time winner, both victories coming in 2016. She’s also a member of the Ladies European Tour, where she’s won five times, including most recently last month at the LET Aramco Team Series event at Trump International in Florida. Ciganda is on track to qualify for her sixth European Solheim Cup team when the event is play this September in her native Spain.