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Esterl claims maiden Evian Tour win

Germany’s Elisabeth Esterl can now add a victory to her 22 top tens and five runners up spots on the Ladies European after winning the Tenerife Ladies Open ahead of the impressive Welsh amateur Becky Brewerton at Golf Las Americas.

The 26-year-old from Dingolfing carded a final round three under par 69 to close on 12 under, one shot clear of Brewerton, who had a one over par 73.

“Finally!” exclaimed a relieved Esterl, who earned €30,000 for her maiden win.

“It’s been a long time coming and I am now so relieved.”

Ana Belen Sanchez from Spain and Karine Icher from France both closed with 70’s to finish tied for third place on nine under par and Denmark’s Iben Tinning and Australian Corinne Dibnah shared fifth place on eight under.

Brewerton began the day three clear of the field, but squandered shots early and turned in two over par as Esterl closed the gap, tying the lead at the eighth after a tap in birdie two.

But the German slipped up at the 11th and Brewerton continued to plod along with pars. Esterl birdied the 14th to tie once again but made the cardinal sin of bogeying the par five 16th to drop one behind.

With the pressure mounting, it was Brewerton who admitted to “playing like an amateur” as she bogeyed the tricky 17th, while Esterl lobbed in a birdie to swap places at the top.

And at the final hole, Brewerton’s eagle chip went close, but Esterl kept her nerve to birdie from eight feet to snatch the title.

“I wasn’t really nervous out there, I was calm and playing with Becky and ‘Dibs’ it felt like a normal Tuesday practice round.

“It’s pure relief though, everyone has been saying I should have won so many times and I am glad I handled the pressure today. Before, I’ve always bombed out early and that’s the first time I have actually played under that kind of pressure coming down the last few holes – But now I’ve broken the ice and I hope for many more titles to come.”

Esterl also paid tribute to Brewerton, who incidentally beat the Bavarian in the Weetabix Challenge fourball matches two weeks ago.

“Becky is such a good player, a wonderful ball striker and she has a great future ahead of her. I was very impressed with her.”

Brewerton was disappointed at the final result after coming so close to gaining a three year Tour exemption if she won. But the amiable 21-year-old from Abergele will turn professional at the end of the season and is sure to be a big hit on Tour.

“It’s been a great week, I enjoyed it a lot,” said Brewerton. “I had butterflies in my stomach this morning and in the end it was really close. It was a shame about the 17th, but that was when I felt I played like the amateur and Lis made a great birdie.”

Esterl, who the travelling reserve at Interlachen last year for The Solheim Cup, moved up to 5th place in the current Solheim rankings and up to fourth place on the order of merit with 167.78 points.

 

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