Carlota Ciganda wins the Open de Espana; Atthaya Thitikul tops the LET Race to Costa Del Sol

The Spanish Solheim Cup star finally landed her national championship.

After six times finishing top 10 at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España, Carlota Ciganda finally lifted the trophy with a four-shot victory at Los Naranjos.

The Spanish Solheim Cup star produced a final round of 5-under-par 67 for a winning total of 15-under 273 to join her friend and compatriot Azahara Munoz as the only Spanish winners of the tournament.

Ciganda, who held a three-shot advantage heading into the final round, made the turn in 4-under thanks to two birdies and an eagle.

The 31-year-old then completed a calm back nine before dropping a final birdie on the final green to claim her fifth LET title and first since the 2019 Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open.

"I'm very happy," she said. "It's a tournament that I really wanted to win. I love Spain and to win your country's tournament is something very special so I'm happy with the way I played.

"To shoot two bogey-free rounds round here is great golfing, it was quite tough in the back nine with the wind, so I was pleased with how I played all week.

"I was trying to go as low as I could, I wasn't trying to focus on the others I was trying to do my own thing and make as many birdies as I could. I think I followed my strategy, and my caddie did a great job so I'm happy with no mistakes."

To finally get over the line in the event was extra special.

"It's hard to explain," she said. "I get emotional because I love Spain and I love my family, so it's just amazing to win this week."

Sweden's Maja Stark posted a bogey-free final round of 66 to finish second on 11-under-par. She had an outside chance of a top five finish in the Race to Costa Del Sol with victory, but Ciganda proved too tough.

"I think Spain is my favourite place to play," the 21-year-old said. "Coming so close to the top five (in the Race to Costa Del Sol) stings a little bit because that was my goal for the week. I knew I had to win and nothing else was on my mind. It was close but Carlota played great so you can't be unhappy with it, I'll just try again next year."

2021 Race to Costa del Sol champion Atthaya Thitikul finished in third place, three shots behind Stark on eight-under-par after a final round 71.

"I felt really good this week, I hit some pretty good shots out there but just missed a couple of putts, Carlota played really well though, so she deserves the trophy," Thitikul said.

"It's been a rollercoaster this year, I feel really great and honoured to be the Race to Costa Del Sol number one, as it's my rookie year as well, it's been a great year for me on the LET."

Slovenia's Pia Babnik finished second in the year's rankings with Australia's Stephanie Kyriacou third.

In 2023 Ciganda will be hoping to play the Solheim Cup on home soil for the first time, back in Andalucia. Europe has won four of the last six matches.

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