Catriona Matthew showing off Solheim Cup in Spain as Ciganda seeks first win in ’19

Catriona Matthew and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda with the Solheim Cup in Spain
Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda show off the trophy at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open, at Golf Club Terramar, in Sitges.

FRESH from her heroics as a member of Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup team at Gleneagles a fortnight ago, Carlota Ciganda will be looking for individual glory in this week’s Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open.

The World No. 12 was a runner-up in the tournament in 2017 and finished eighth in 2018.

Besides earning two points in the Solheim Cup, Ciganda has had a consistent year, posting eight top 10s and missing only one cut in 2019.

Ciganda believes she is playing the best golf of her career and the only thing missing this year is a tournament victory.

The Spaniard will try to put that right at Golf Club Terramar, in Sitges, near Barcelona, where the 2019 Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open is being played, from September 26-29.

“I’m here to win, and I will do everything possible to lift the trophy on Sunday,” said 29-year-old Ciganda, from Pamplona.

She credits her experienced team, including her coach, Jorge Parada and caddie, Terry McNamara, for her solid play over the last two years.

McNamara is not in Spain, due to having eye surgery, so Ciganda’s boyfriend James Longman will be caddying this week.

“I’ve been with my coach for five years and over the last two years, I’ve really understood how he likes to work,” Ciganda explained.

Having taken a week off to recover her voice and energy at home in Pamplona, Ciganda is ready for a celebratory homecoming.

Carlota said: “This week is nice. I have a lot of family and friends coming. I love playing in Spain, it’s always nice with good weather and food, so I’m happy to be here.”

She will be reunited on the tee with her Solheim Cup captain, Catriona Matthew, when they play together with the LET Order of Merit leader Esther Henseleit, at 9.14am on Thursday – just a fortnight after the 14½-13½ victory.

Ciganda added: “We are good friends and I want her to play great.

“I’ll try my best and at the end we just want the best golf to win. It will be great to play with her,” said the winner of three LET events, and who won her first LPGA event in the States in 2016.

Scot Matthew was not exactly playing down expectations despite all the excitement and media hype after winning in front of her home fans..

Matthew, who has five wins on the LET and three on the LPGA on top of her 2009 Women’s British Open victory over the last 21 years, said “I really have played very little golf for the last five weeks.

“Last week was busy with media and other things, but it’s nice to be out playing golf and enjoying it. I feel like I can relax now and enjoy it more.

“It’s a lovely spot. I came here with the kids last year and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to this week and I’m going to play in India next week and do some sightseeing and enjoy it.

“I’m enjoying my golf more than anything. I’m definitely targeting a good finish. I actually feel as though the break’s done me good,” added Matthew, whose last win came back in 2013 in Ladies Scottish Open.

“I’m playing better now and feel as though I’m hitting the ball well. Golf is a strange game and you can be hitting it well and it doesn’t quite come into scoring.

“I’m going out hoping to get up there and hopefully compete at the weekend.”

As well as seeing Ciganda and Matthew in action, fans have had the opportunity to get up close to the famous Solheim Cup trophy, which will be on site throughout the weekend.

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