Carlota Ciganda, a two-time winner on the LPGA and a five-time member of the European Solheim Cup team, was disqualified Thursday after the first round of the 2023 Amundi Evian Championship, an LPGA major.
The official reason was for signing an incorrect scorecard, but the situation arose out of a slow-play penalty assessed on Ciganda’s final hole of the round. The Spaniard refused to acknowledge a two-shot penalty, signed her card without adding the two shots, then was DQ’d.
Ciganda was 3 over after her round, not counting the penalty strokes. The penalty would have pushed her score to 5-over 76, and she would have trailed first-round leader Paula Reto by 12 shots.
Ciganda was playing with fellow Arizona State alum Anna Nordqvist as well as Celine Herbin. Officially Group 14, the threesome started on the 10th hole Thursday at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evain-Les-Bains, France.
When they got to the seventh hole, their 16th hole of the day, they were notified by rules officials that they were out of position.
After failing to make up time, the group was put on the clock on the eighth hole, their 17th of the round. On the ninth hole, Ciganda took too long to play and was assessed a two-stroke penalty per the LPGA’s pace of play policy.
As was her right, she appealed to the advance and lead rules officials but was denied, meaning the two-stroke penalty would stick. She opted to sign her scorecard without accounting for those two strokes. Ciganda was told if she left the official recording area having turned in a signed incorrect scorecard, she would be disqualified. The LPGA said she left of her own accord, leading to the DQ.
An LPGA spokesperson told Golfweek: “Rule 3.3b(3) states that if a returned score is lower than the actual score, the player is disqualified from the competition. The exception to this Rule does not apply because Ciganda was aware of the penalty strokes received and upheld before signing her scorecard and leaving the recording area.”
Ciganda tied for 12th in her most recent event, the Dana Open, following a tie for 20th at the U.S. Women’s Open and a tie for third at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She ranks 14th on this year’s money list with $876,447, and she is No. 31 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. She won both her LPGA titles in 2016.