Ciganda recounts 'crazy day,' late shuttle

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Mexico City’s infamous traffic jams caused problems for contenders in Saturday’s third round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

With four players who were in contention stuck in a shuttle bus that took more than two hours to make the usual 15- to 20-minute commute from the tournament hotel to the golf course, the LPGA pushed back the day’s final three times. By doing so, Suzann Pettersen, Angela Stanford, Minjee Lee and Carlota Ciganda were assured that they would be spared disqualifications for missing tee times.

The LPGA cited Decision 6-3a/1.5 in pushing back tee times, determining there were “exceptional circumstances beyond the players’ control.”

Pettersen, Stanford, Lee and Ciganda hopped on a shuttle bus at the tournament hotel at 9:30 a.m. CT and didn’t arrive at Club de Golf Mexico until 11:46 a.m. That was eight minutes after Ciganda was scheduled to tee off.

“I don’t think he was lost,” Ciganda said of the bus driver. “He just tried to take another road and there was so much traffic, and then we were on the highway and we tried to take an exit and it was closed. He said in the morning it was open.”

Mexico City was No. 1 in an “IBM Commuter Pain Index” released a few years ago that ranked the world’s toughest traffic.

“It was a little crazy,” Ciganda said.

Ciganda didn’t seem adversely affected. She shot a 3-under-par 69 to move into a tie for third place, four shots behind the leader, Inbee Park.

Stanford, however, saw her long day extend to the course. Tied for second at day’s start, Stanford shot 76 and fell to a tie for 14th, nine shots off the lead. Lee shot 73 and Pettersen 75 as both those players also fell off the pace.