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Ciganda could become first Spaniard to win women’s major

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KILDEER, Ill. – Carlota Ciganda was exhausted after battling to get on the leaderboard late Friday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Through a National Weather Service “excessive heat warning,” with temperatures climbing into the upper 90s, Ciganda gave herself a chance to win her first major championship.

A 3-under-par 69 left her one shot off the lead going into the weekend.

“I’m tired,” Ciganda said. “I can’t even think. It was so hot, and there’s just so much thinking you have to do on this course. It’s a tough course, and you have to play smart.”

Ciganda, 28, is a two-time LPGA winner in position to make a run at becoming the first Spaniard to win a women’s major.

Kemper Lakes is offering a brutish test in this heat, one that isn’t allowing her to look beyond the shot in front of her.

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Obviously, if a Spanish girl wins any tournament, even a major, it would be unbelievable,” Ciganda said. “I just want to try to keep playing my best, try to follow my strategy, my plan, and see how it goes.”

Ciganda has been knocking on the door in the majors. She finished third at the U.S. Women’s Open a month ago. She tied for fifth at the U.S. Women’s Open last year and tied for fourth at the ANA Inspiration three years ago.

“I think I have a good chance at the majors because you don't have to shoot 20 under,” she said. “If you are between 10- and 15-under, you're able to win one. So, I like these courses, where you have to hit longer shots to greens, where the par-3s are longer. I really like that.”