In Week 8, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda took the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at Palos Verdes Golf Club in California. The 20-year-old, a junior at Arizona State University, finished two strokes clear of Wake Forest’s Natalie Sheary, and five ahead of the chasing pack.
The reigning Pac-10 Champion, who has now won claimed four career collegiate victories, fired a final round, one-over-par 72 to edge ahead of Sheary after starting the day tied for the lead.
“It felt good to win something,” said Ciganda, this week’s number 17 after a four-place jump. “My short game and putting were the both important to the win. I have more confidence now. I am happy and looking forward to my next tournament.”
Across in Florida, another Spaniard, Teresa Puga, was victorious at the UCF Challenge. Puga made an eagle on the final hole to tie for medallist honours with the USA’s Ashleigh Albrecht at the RedTail Golf Club, near Orlando.
Starting the last day in ninth place, Puga shot a stellar, six-under-par round of 66 – the only sub-70 round of the day – to equal University of Kentucky sophomore Albrecht’s eight-under-par total of 208.
Puga, who was named the Big 10 Player of the Week on the back of the result, advances 31 places to WAGRank 100, while Albrecht makes an 93-place leap to 136th.
In the week’s second Category A event, Stephanie Meadow, a freshman at the University of Alabama, won the Lady Puerto Rico Classic at the 6,191-yard, par-72 Rio Mar Country Club, San Juan. The 19-year-old from Northern Ireland shot a final-round of 69 for a four-under-par total of 212 and a one-stroke victory over Florida State’s Maria Salinas.
Stephanie was just awesome today," said the Crimson Tide’s head coach, Mic Potter. "She was really solid and really steady. I knew since the time she got on campus that she was going to be a missing link for us. She is a player that knows how to win tournaments."
Meadow, who was selected as a Great Britain and Ireland reserve for last year’s Curtis Cup match against the USA, ascends 72 places up the Ranking to 67th. Runner-up Salinas, meanwhile, moves up 32 to 45th.
In Week 8, Eddie Pepperell holed a 40-foot putt on the 54th hole to take the Portuguese Amateur by one stroke from Jean-Pierre Verselin of France. Italy’s Domenico Geminiani, Daan Huizing of the Netherlands and Frenchman Eduard Espana tied for third, a further stroke back.
Having led from the first day after an opening round of 68, the English international looked like he might come undone in the final round. Verselin’s closing 67 had put pressure on the 20-year-old, who had only managed an outward nine of 37, but he rallied to birdie 16 and 18 to claim victory by the narrowest of margins.
"I felt confident enough through the first two days,” said Pepperell, up 46 to 128th, this week. “Finally, it was a matter of ensuring the victory even though course was playing difficult. Basically, I am very pleased to have finished the job in a positive way."
Over in the USA, the University of San Diego’s Kenneth McCready took medallist honours at the Battle of the Beach on the North Course at Pelican Hill, California. A seven-under-par, three-round total of 203 was enough to win by two strokes from UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay.
McCready opened with a five-under-par 65, before backing that up with a second-day to ensure that a final round of 71 would be enough for an unlikely victory. The win sees the senior advances 216 places up the Ranking to 165th. Meanwhile, Cantlay remains the world number three.
In Hawaii, University of Virginia’s Ben Kohles claimed the John Burns Intercollegiate, after making a birdie on the second hole of a three-man play-off. The victory is a school-record-equaling fifth of Kohles’ career during his time at Virginia, and one which lifts him 35 places to WAGRank 83.
Rounds of 71, 68 and 67 took the junior to a 10-under-par total of 206 to tie Texas A&M’s John Hurley and California’s Max Homa at the top. In the ensuing play-off, he fired a fine approach to six-feet on the second extra hole, before sinking the putt for the win.
Finally, Nils Floren birdied three of the final five holes to earn a one-stroke victory at the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational. Starting the day tied-seventh, Floren, a senior at Texas Tech, fired a third-round 68 to take individual medallist honours at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio.
The Swede’s first victory since the autumn of 2009, and the second of his career, lifts him 30 places to 96th, while there is consolation for second-placed Ben Klaus of Oklahoma in an 227-place move to WAGRank 661.
The USA’s Peter Uihlein remains the Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One.