Inicio Women's British Open AIG Women's British Open 2023 Carlota speeds up and asserts herself in the British from minute one
The Spaniard starts strong at Walton Heath after her controversial penalty at the Evian.

Carlota speeds up and asserts herself in the British from minute one

Carlota Ciganda
Carlota Ciganda pega la salida en el 3 en el British. © Oisin Keniry / R&A

Carlota Ciganda (-2) has turned the page from the incident at the Evian, when she was penalised in the second round with two penalty strokes on the last hole for slow play and, discontented, deliberately signed the card incorrectly to be eliminated. The Navarrese has reset, who has always admitted that she takes it easy, and perhaps some ear pulling, like that of the Solheim Cup captain, Suzann Pettersen, who spoke with the Navarrese after the controversy, may have even done her good. “She had a couple of incidents at the Evian with the referees, but I suppose if she speeds up her game the problem would be solved. If they are watching you, hurry up,” pointed out the former Norwegian player. Also Nelly Korda, who is usually quite fast, said that Carlota is a “great girl, but the rules are there to be applied and I don’t think a spectator would like to be five or six hours on a course watching a sport that is constantly stopping”.


And Carlota, fifth with the afternoon shift pending, sped up at Walton Heath as soon as she arrived. She did so in the first round of the British, starting very early and placing herself as leader in the clubhouse with two under, a stop that was also reached by the Mexican Gaby López, who comes from being third in the Evian, and the Japanese Nasa Hataoka, second in two Majors, and Kokona Sakurai, although they were later surpassed by the South Korean Jeongeun Lee6 (-3), the Danish Emily Kristine Pedersen (-3), playing partner of Julia López, the French Perrine Delacour (-3), thanks to her fabulous final sprint with five birdies in seven holes, and the Thai Jaravee Boonchant (-3). Also finishing with 70, two under in the debut of this AIG Women’s Open, was the Swiss Morgane Metraux.

Ciganda, who had a good harvest in the Majors before the Evian (twelfth in the Chevron, third in the PGA Championship and twentieth in the US Open) has taken a giant first step to be in the fight for the first Major for Spanish golf (as a good omen, the four winners this year of Majors had none in their showcases). She herself predicts a possible winning result.

“It’s a course where you can make birdies if you play well, although you can also get tangled up and make bogeys. You have to be very disciplined from the tee and on the second shots because there are opportunities. I think if someone gets to double digits on Sunday, they win for sure,” she commented after finishing her round the golfer from Ulzama, “very happy” with her performance because “it’s been a very good day, playing very solid from tee to green and, above all, the starts have been very good”.

After half a dozen consecutive pars, the Navarrese linked two birdies (7 and 8), only got tangled up on the 13 and returned to the path of success on the 16, last par 5 of the course, to seal a great -2, although tomorrow afternoon she will have to fight more with the wind than today. For now, let them take away what she has danced and in the first 18 holes she has taken a three-shot lead over Nelly Korda (+1), World Number One, and Jon Young Ko (+1), four over Lydia Ko (+2) and five over Hinako Shibuno (+3). Charley Hull (-1), Anna Nordqvist (PAR) and Leona Maguire (PAR) also couldn’t keep up with Ciganda’s pace.

Of the rest of the Armada that opened fire in the morning, Ana Peláez (+1), second in the Race to Costa del Sol after being overtaken by Celine Boutier and fighting to be one of the chosen by Pettersen for the Solheim, was holding her own in the leading positions with consistency by going to par after the first two thirds of the course after her birdie on the 3 and a mistake on the 5. But right there her card was somewhat shaken with bogeys on the 15 and 17, with a success in between. She finished in the same position as her young compatriot Julia López Ramírez (+1), who ended her first round in a Major with a smile from ear to ear after finishing with a birdie on the 18. Initially she paid for her nerves by stumbling on the 1, then she calmed down and strung together eight pars before her first success on the 10; the amateur from Malaga stumbled on the 11 and 15 to add +2 after 16 holes, but the golfer from Mississippi State left happy by sinking the ball in the cup at the end. Nuria Iturrioz (+3) suffered at the start by hitting the 2, 3 and 9, although the subsequent recovery was only half-hearted, as while it is true that she holed a trio of birdies (10, 12 and 16), she slipped three more times (13, 15 and 17), so she will need a notable round tomorrow in the evening shift to make the cut.

Results of the AIG Women’s Open 2023