Gut Häusern, Munich – Carlota Ciganda claimed her third Ladies European Tour title on Sunday as she won the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi in a play-off against Charley Hull.
Ciganda won the play-off with a birdie on the first hole of sudden death at the par-3 15th at Golfpark Gut Häusern near Munich.
Playing in a torrential downpour, Ciganda struck a 7-iron which left her around two metres, or six feet, from the hole. Hull used a three-quarter 6-iron shot to hit her ball around 20 feet from the hole and her birdie putt ended just a fraction short.
|Carlota celebrates her winning birdie putt on the 15th green|
Unprecedented weather conditions caused the curtailment of the UniCredit Ladies German Open. As a result of significant rainfall throughout the tournament dates, the decision was made to abandon the remaining rounds of play and to declare the winner of the Tournament on the basis of the results of the first two rounds of play completed on Thursday, 30 May and Saturday, 1 June.
After a normal round was played on Thursday, weather conditions would not allow the full field of 126 competitors to play the second round on Friday and therefore after the cut, a field of 70 played a reduced round on Saturday.
The weather predicted on Saturday evening and throughout Sunday made no further play possible over the remainder of the tournament and therefore a play-off to decide the winner was conducted on the 15th hole at 12.30pm on Sunday.
Despite the pouring rain, 12,000 spectators turned out to watch the golf over the two days of play on Thursday and Saturday and there was even a significant gallery lining the 15th tee to green on Sunday.
The title sponsor UniCredit generously agreed to pay the full prize fund rather than the contracted 50 per cent, meaning that Ciganda earned the full first prize cheque of 52,500 euro and an Audi Q5 car worth 50,000 euro.
|Carlota with her new Audi Q5|
After holing the winning putt, Ciganda, who had been celebrating her 23rd birthday on Saturday, was greeted on the 15th green in torrential rain by friends and family brandishing the Spanish flag.
The former European number one from Pamplona said afterwards: “I told my caddie to go and check the distance because we had where the pin was. He told me it was 149 and I knew that was my 7-iron. I was just on the range hitting 7-irons all the time. I hit a great shot, but I’m very lucky to make that putt because the greens, you never know, they were slow and I hit a good putt and won so I’m very happy!”
|Carlota with her family and friends on the 15th green|
She and Hull will both have strengthened their claim to a debut place on the 2013 European Solheim Cup team this August.
For 17-year-old rookie professional Hull from England, this was her fifth second place finish in as many starts on the Ladies European Tour this year.
After being embraced by her father, Dave, on the 15th green, Hull said: “When am I going to win?” The laid back teen then added: “I just hope that it counts for Solheim, because I really want to get into the Solheim! It’s a shame but I’ll have another chance in Slovakia soon.”
|Charley Hull putting for birdie on the 15th green|
Rebecca Hudson from England finished the tournament in third place, based on the result which was decided on the two rounds already played.
Germany’s Solheim Cup hope Caroline Masson was of course disappointed that she could no longer play on to improve from 22nd position. She said (through translation): “It is a shame but I’m still glad I came to the UniCredit Ladies German Open. A tournament at home is always something special.”
The amateur player Sophia Popov from Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, the venue for The 2015 Solheim Cup, was the best of the 12 German participants in a tie for ninth position. The United States college student was delighted considering she had no expectations. Miriam Nagl tied for 22nd with Masson while Ann-Kathrin Lindner and Leigh Whittaker (both from St. Leon-Rot) finished in a share of 37th place.
|From left: Sophia Popov, Charley Hull, Carlota Ciganda and Rebecca Hudson|
Although the Ladies European Tour required that only 50 per cent of the prize money should be paid due to the curtailment, tournament organisers and sponsors said this was out of the question and full prizes were awarded. Tournament President and member of the management board of UniCredit bank, Jürgen Danzmayr, commented (through translation): “We had all hoped for a great golf tournament, but unfortunately, the weather gods were not kind to us and especially the players. However, it goes without saying that we honour the full prize money offered to the competitors who have provided us with outstanding golf despite these incredibly challenging conditions.”
|Charley Hull hits her tee shot at the par-3 15th|