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Federica Piovano claims Austrian Ladies Open

Federica Piovano from Italy snatched victory from France’s Gwladys Nocera with a dramatic eagle putt at the final hole to win the €250,000 Siemens Austrian Ladies Open Powered by EVN.

After a bogey at the 17th hole, the pressure mounted for Nocera as the players drew level at fourteen under going into the last. The tables turned as Piovano, who had been in second position all day, sunk an outstanding 14 metre putt for eagle at par five18th where Nocera could only muster a birdie.

Piovano, a 23-year-old from Rome, eventually won her maiden professional title by a shot, with a final round 68 for an impressive 272 16-under-par total. After setting the course record in the second round with a magnificent 62, the fanatical football fan proved her nerves of steel and took home the €37, 500 in prize winnings.

Nocera, who had a 70 to finish at fifteen under par, was cruelly denied her maiden victory on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour. She had her second runner-up placing of the year, after losing a play-off against Shani Waugh at the Thailand Ladies Open.

Marta Prieto from Spain and England’s Laura Davies tied for third position four shots back on eleven under-par; both carded a 71.

Veronica Zorzi from Italy, who carded a 70, shared fifth position on ten-under-par with Kris Lindstrom from the USA, who had a 68.

Piovano started the final day a shot behind but left it until the very last minute to finally close in on the French woman.

“I saw the leader board on 18 and I saw the tie but I didn’t think about match play,” said Piovano.

“Believe it or not I had no pressure. When you get to that point you have had pressure all day long so when it came to the end, I thought ‘this is either this is going to be in or its going to be out.’ It’s not what you think about, it’s what you do that matters.”

Piovano’s putting was in form all week after she took some lessons from her fellow Italian players and the David Leadbetter Academy: “I’m so happy because since I was an amateur I always had a really good game tee to green but I couldn’t score well because of my putting.

“Finally this year, thanks to some girls and some work I did I got to a point where I know what I’m doing,” she said.

The crucial putt was tricky with the last two metres sloping down towards the surrounding water.

“I had to imagine that the hole was a metre shorter because I didn’t want to hit it too hard and go in the water or off the green.”

Throughout her round, Piovano sported a red Tee-shirt with the catchy slogan, “Impossible Is Nothing”, which she proved with her remarkable mental tenacity. She has just employed the services of former LET sports psychologist Vicki Aitken.

“We started in Tenerife three or four weeks ago, and actually, I’m a great student!” she joked, confirming that victory was sweeter than her second round 62.

“To win is the best feeling. The tournament is over and you were the first - the best feeling,” she said.

Davies started the final day three shots behind Nocera alongside Prieto, but conceded that a few missed putts were her falling.

“I just didn’t putt very well today. I had my chances,” said Davies, who has 66 wins to her name with at least one in every year of her 20-year career.

“I missed a very short birdie putt on 12 and three putted 14 and that was it really. I was too far behind. I had to make the birdie there and certainly couldn’t afford a bogey on 13 and then 16. It was a bit disappointing really, I just made a stupid error there and it was all over by then. If you can’t win it just loses the excitement.

She predicted: “I think that birdie might get me third if someone eagles the last and then it’s a good few points for the Solheim.”

She now occupies second position in the official Solheim Cup rankings, while Piovano has climbed into fifteenth position.

We will see how that changes when the LET returns to Rome next week, to Sheraton Golf Parco de' Medici, the golf course where Piovano started playing.

Final Scoreboard

272 - Federica Piovano (ITA) 70 62 72 68

273 - Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 70 65 68 70

277 - Laura Davies (ENG) 67 68 71 71, Marta Prieto (ESP) 68 68 70 71

278 - Kris Lindstrom (USA) 70 70 70 68, Veronica Zorzi (ITA) 71 67 70 70

279 - Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 66 69 71 73

280 - Iben Tinning (DEN) 73 68 72 67, Lynnette Brooky (NZ) 68 71 71 70, Georgina Simpson (ENG) 66 73 70 71

281 - Karen Lunn (AUS) 72 68 75 66, Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 72 68 73 68, Anja Monke (GER) 73 64 75 69, Laurette Maritz (SA) 72 66 72 71

282 - Jane Leary (AUS) 74 69 73 66

283 - Anne-Marie Knight (AUS) 74 71 72 66, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 70 71 73 69, Nienke Nijenhuis (NL) 71 69 73 70, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 70 70 72 71

284 - Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 71 73 74 66, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 73 70 72 69, Julie Forbes (SCO) 73 71 71 69, Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 69 72 72 71, Marine Monnet-Melocco (FRA) 66 72 72 74

285 - Katie Bakken (USA) 73 70 72 70, Virginie Lagoutte (FRA) 67 70 74 74, Alison Munt (AUS) 68 72 69 76

286 - Linda Wessberg (SWE) 72 73 75 66, Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 74 73 72 67, Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 70 72 75 69, Denise Simon (GER) 69 70 77 70, Sophie Hunter (ENG) 74 69 71 72, Virginie Auffret (FRA) 70 69 74 73

287 - Maria Beautell (ESP) 76 70 72 69, Nicole Stillig-Gogele (GER) 69 70 78 70, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 74 73 70 70, Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 72 71 73 71, Sarah Heath (ENG) 74 69 72 72, Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 74 71 70 72, Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE) 73 71 70 73

288 - Nina Karlsson (SWE) 76 71 73 68, Martina Eberl (GER) 74 68 77 69, Diana Luna (ITA) 74 73 71 70, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 70 70 76 72, Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL) 69 75 70 74, Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 73 71 69 75

289 - Isabella Maconi (ITA) 75 70 74 70, Elisa Serramia (ESP) 69 74 71 75

290 - Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 73 72 75 70, Margherita Rigon (ITA) 74 73 72 71, Hanna-Sofia Svenningsson (SWE) 73 65 80 72

291 - Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 68 76 76 71, Eva Steinberger (AUT) 72 72 75 72, Sophie Giquel (FRA) 76 69 69 77

292 - Barbara Paruscio (ITA) 73 74 76 69, Asa Gottmo (SWE) 73 73 76 70, Valerie Van Ryckeghem (BEL) 73 73 72 74, Stefanie Endstrasser (Am) (AUT) 72 70 75 75, Karen Margrethe Juul (DEN) 73 71 73 75, Ellen Smets (BEL) 75 69 72 76, Clare Queen (Am) (SCO) 73 73 70 76

293 - Stefanie Michl (Am) (AUT) 74 73 73 73

294 - Corinne Dibnah (AUS) 74 72 73 75, Cherie Byrnes (AUS) 77 70 72 75, Cecilie Lundgreen (NOR) 72 69 76 77

296 - Liza Walters (ENG) 74 73 75 74

300 - Vibeke Stensrud (NOR) 75 72 76 77

301 - Elin Ohlsson (SWE) 73 72 80 76

304 - Marina Arruti (ESP) 74 73 78 79

RTD - Trish Johnson (ENG) 75 72 73 RTD

 

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