|Carlota Ciganda with her first LET trophy in Holland last year|
Carlota Ciganda claimed her maiden Ladies European Tour victory 12 months ago at the Deloitte Ladies Open at Golfclub Broekpolder in Rotterdam. Now the Spaniard is hungry for more success as she returns to defend the title at a brand new venue: The International in Amsterdam.
Ciganda will naturally be aiming to retain the Deloitte Ladies Open title this week when the event visits The International for the first time and is in a rich vein of form after finishing joint runner-up, a stroke behind South African Lee-Anne Pace, at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open a fortnight ago.
Last year, as a 22-year-old rookie on the LET, Ciganda shot rounds of 71, 67 and 69 to earn a two stroke victory over Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom at nine under par.
It was the start of a tremendous season, which saw her go on to collect a second tournament victory at the China Suzhou Taihu Open. She then swept up the ISPS Handa Order of Merit, Rolex Rookie of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year titles, becoming the first player since Laura Davies in 1985 to win both rookie and order of merit titles in the same year.
Currently ranked second behind Suzann Pettersen in the European Solheim Cup points’ standings for this August’s match against the USA in Colorado, a strong performance will help Ciganda to secure her place in Captain Liselotte Neumann’s European Team this summer.
She said: “I think there are great players out there and it’s not going to be easy to be on the team. There are lots of players with experience and other younger players who are playing great. I am glad I am not the captain, because it’s not easy to pick. I am just trying to play my game and keep improving and learning, but it would be a dream to be part of the European Tour and help the team beat the Americans!
“I love match play: so much fun! I remember playing the European Team events with Spain and because golf is so individual, it is much more fun when you play for a team. I always fight until the end!”
Fellow former event champions Melissa Reid (2011), Florentyna Parker (2010), Tania Elosegui (2009), Gwladys Nocera (2008 and 2007), Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (2005) and Elisabeth Esterl (2004) also return to the Netherlands hoping to be inspired by their own fond memories of the area, while Christel Boeljon will be targeting a home victory.
Golf fans hoping to see Ciganda, Reid, Boeljon, Parker, Nocera and many more of the game’s greats can take advantage of a special advance ticket offer to reserve their place at the Deloitte Ladies Open, from May 24-26.
Tickets are available online and a portion of the sales will be donated to Diabetes Research Foundation Netherlands (DON). Everyone who buys an entry ticket from deloitteladiesopen.nl/tickets will be entered into a competition for three people to win nine holes of golf and lunch with Christel Boeljon.