For a while on the back nine Sunday at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, it looked like no one wanted to win.
After storming from five strokes back of Alison Lee to five ahead with six birdies in the first 10 holes, Carlota Ciganda played the final five holes at Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean course in Incheon, South Korea, four over par. On the par-5 18th, both Ciganda and Lee made bogeyed when a par from either would have given her the title.
But on the first playoff hole, Ciganda, a 26-year-old from Spain who played college golf at Arizona State, made a birdie to notch her first LPGA win.
“It means the world me. It’s pretty nice to win here in Korea where women's golf is so big,” Ciganda said. “It’s been a long journey. [But] I love competing and playing and being an athlete. I couldn't ask for a better life.”
Ciganda, who played for Europe on the last two Solheim Cup teams, has won three times on the Ladies European Tour.
Lee, a 21-year-old American out of UCLA who famously was involved in the Suzann Pettersen “no-I-didn’t-give-you-that-putt” dispute at the 2015 Solheim Cup, started the day three ahead of Shanshan Feng but bogeyed four of the first 10 holes to let Ciganda back in it.
Ciganda and Lee finished at 10-under-par 278, two strokes clear of Feng and Min-Sun Kim.