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Last chance for Laura Davies in 2000

England's star golfer Laura Davies has one last chance to continue what is arguably the most enduring record in professional golf when she tees-off tomorrow in the Evian Tour's 100,000 Mexx Sport Open in Holland.

Davies has won at least one tournament in Europe for the past 15 years, and although she finished first in the individual competition in last week's TSN World Cup of Golf in Ireland, she has yet to win an event on the 2000 Evian Tour.

The former world number one came close to winning three weeks ago in the Kronenbourg 1664 Chart Hills Classic when she led by a solitary shot with two holes to play. But her chances of victory disappeared when she fired her tee-shot into the water at the short 17th and she had to settle for a share of fourth spot.

The Mexx Sport Open will be Davies' last ranking event in Europe this year and the four-time major winner is determined to finish her season in style. "This record is very important to me and if I don't manage to win in Holland then it will be a huge disappointment," said Davies after collecting the individual prize in Ireland last week.

"I definitely feel under pressure to win an event on the Evian Tour this season. I'm delighted to have won the individual competition in the first World Cup, but it does not count towards my record. "I had a great chance of winning at Chart Hills earlier this month when I was leading with two holes to play. But I threw it away at the 17th so the Dutch (Mexx Sport Open) is my last chance."

Although Davies began the year in impressive style with two victories on the LPGA Tour in America, she experienced a mid-season slump when her form, particularly on the greens, deserted her. But recently her putter has proven a far more reliable ally, and she goes into tomorrow's event with her confidence high.

"My putting made all the difference this week," added Davies, who will help form the backbone of the European team at next month's Solheim Cup in Scotland. "At the moment I feel like I'm going to hole them, and when I have that feeling they tend to go in."

Last chance for Laura Davies to keep a 15 year winning streak alive.Allsport

Joining Davies at Kennemer Golf Club will be the form player of the 2000 Evian Tour, Sophie Gustafson of Sweden. Gustafson has won five times already this season. She secured her maiden LPGA title at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship in April, which she followed with wins in the Italian, Irish and Weetabix British Opens, before partnering Carin Koch to victory in last week's World Cup.

Gustafson currently tops the Evian Tour Order of Merit and, like Davies, should feature as a key component of the European Solheim Cup team.

Three other members of that team will also be in action this week. England's Alison Nicholas, who has been a stalwart for Europe in all five Solheim Cups, will be looking for her first victory in Europe since 1996, while France's Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, a two-time winner this season, and Raquel Carriedo of Spain would benefit from a strong performance before making their Solheim debuts at Loch Lomond.

France's Marine Monnet, a picture of consistency in her first full season as a professional, is also likely to feature at Kennemer Golf Club. The 22-year-old Parisian has yet to win as a professional, but eight top-10 finishes from 12 starts left her just one place outside the automatic qualifying zone for The Solheim Cup and marked her down as the most promising young player in Europe.

 

 

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