Spanish lass stuns Lee, wins via playoff
(Associated Press) - October 18, 2016 - 12:00am

INCHEON, South Korea – Carlota Ciganda overcame an early five-stroke deficit, blew a late five-stroke lead and needed a big break to get in a playoff in the rainy LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship.

The 26-year-old Spaniard then left Alison Lee in tears, beating the American on the first extra hole for her first LPGA Tour title. Ciganda made a 6-foot birdie putt after Lee’s birdie chip from the rough off the back edge missed a half-inch to the right.

‘’I was just trying to stay in the present and hit as best I could,’’ Ciganda said. ‘’In the end, it was so close. I think I was the lucky one today and I’m very happy.’’

Ciganda lost a five-stroke advantage on the final five holes – getting into the playoff when Lee bogeyed the par-5 18th after hitting her third shot into the water.

‘’The last three, four holes I was pretty nervous,’’ said Ciganda, who played in the group ahead of Lee. ‘’I was looking more and I was 1 up, and then I was on 18 I saw I was 1-down and I couldn’t believe it. So it’s just golf. Only one can win.’’

Lee is winless in two seasons on the tour.

‘’I feel like I had a battle with myself out there,’’ the 21-year-old UCLA student told Golfweek. ‘’I came back at the end, but it just wasn’t enough.’’

Ciganda’s breakthrough victory made her the third European winner this year, joining Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Germany’s Caroline Masson.

‘’It’s very special because it’s been a tough few years for me,’’ Ciganda said. ‘’My coach (Rogelio Echeverria) passed away two years ago and I had to look for a new coach. I changed caddies, too.           

SPANISH
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