She didn’t have to hit a shot the final two weeks of the LPGA Tour’s Asia swing to earn the biggest payday of her career and more than she earned in all of her 22 starts of 2019. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda skipped both the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA and the Toto Japan Classic, resting for next week’s CME Group Tour Championship but also resting on her lead in the season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge.
The competition, which was held on both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, gave $1 million to the player on each tour with the best scoring average on a single risk-reward hole each week. Sometimes it was a drivable par-4 (as was the case two weekends ago in New Taipei City) and other times it was a reachable par-5 with a hazard or some other penalty for a wayward shot.
Last week at Seta Golf Course in Shiga, Japan, the designated risk-reward hole was the 476-yard, par-5 17th. The only players with a shot at catching Ciganda were Ariya Jutanugarn, who had to make two eagles there on the weekend, and I.K. Kim, who needed an eagle and an albatross. Jutanugarn came close. She eagled the hole on Sunday but could only manage a birdie on Saturday. Kim made a par and a birdie.
With only the CME Group Tour Championship left on the season, Ciganda has earned $963,602 in official tournament winnings in 2019, meaning the Aon Risk Reward Challenge payday more than doubled her income for the year.
Brooks Koepka won the PGA Tour prize in August.
Staff and Wire Reports