With Spanish cooking, sunny weather and family time on the agenda for Carlota Ciganda, it’s easy to see why the 27-year-old from Pamplona is happy to be on home turf for the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino this week.

The World Rankings No.22 finished second in the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open near Barcelona five months ago, after a play-off against the eventual winner Florentyna Parker and Anna Nordqvist.

She said: “I’m very excited because I always love playing in Spain with all the people here. My family is here and some friends are coming. I love playing with the crowds and some great weather, a great golf course, so I’m very excited.”

Ciganda has had a mixed year with six top-10 finishes, including a tie for fourth in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and a tie for fifth in the US Women’s Open, but she is keen to add to her trophy cabinet, which includes two wins on the LPGA last year and three wins on the LET (including the German Open, which was reduced to 27 holes and therefore unofficial).

“Obviously, I would like to win the tournament but whoever plays best deserves to win. Azahara is playing on her home course, so she will be tough to beat. We have rented a house with my family so looking forward to some quality time with them, because I am always travelling in the US. We will have some nice dinners, good food and it’s all easy here,” she said.

Ciganda made her third Solheim Cup appearance in Des Moines, Iowa, last month, where she earned a point for the European team in her singles match with a 4-and-3 win against Brittany Lincicome, but it came just too late.

“Obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted, but in the end only one team can win and we had a great week,” she said.

“It’s always nice to represent Europe. You make great friendships and I think Annika did a great job. When I think of the Solheim Cup it’s always good things and I would love to see it come to Spain one day.”

It’s a strong field, with her team mates Florentyna Parker and Georgia Hall joined by the likes of Azahara Muñoz and Suzann Pettersen and 10 recent tournament winners.

Ciganda will start in the first group from the 10th tee at 8.30am local time on Thursday, playing with the Lalla Meryem Cup champion Klara Spilkova and last year’s Xiamen Ladies Open winner Anne Van Dam.