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Kreutz claims OTP Bank Central European Open victory

Ludivine Kreutz from France claimed her third professional victory at the €165,000 OTP Bank Central European Open in Hungary .

Kreutz, who began the day two shots behind the overnight leader, Samantha Head, from England , made a fast charge on the back nine to finish four shots clear at 14 under par (199) for the tournament.  She tacked a closing round of 66 (-5) onto opening rounds of 69, 64 for a runaway win and earned €24, 750 in prize winnings for her efforts.

Minea Blomqvist, the defending champion from Finland finished tied in second position with English players Samantha Head and Lora Fairclough at ten under par (203).

While Becky Brewerton, from Wales , Marta Prieto, from Spain , and Nina Reis from Sweden tied for third position at nine under par (204) on a sweltering final day at Old Lake Golf G&CC, near Budapest .

Kreutz started out slowly but began her birdie blitz from the par-five fourth hole. She then birdied the sixth and eighth, to tie for the lead with Head. The turning point came when Kreutz birdied the ninth to move to thirteen under, while Head made a double to take her back to minus ten.

Two more birdies at the 10 th and 17 th gave the French woman a five shot lead coming down the last, but despite finding the greenside bunker at the 18th, a bogey was enough to seal the win. 

"After the first nine holes, I had a two shot lead, so I felt more confident," admitted Kreutz, 31, from Rognac.

"When I made my first birdie I just tried to get on a roll."

When she claimed her second professional victory at the Tenerife Ladies Open in May, Kreutz achieved her goal to achieve automatic exemption for the Evian Masters, which takes place next week in France .

"I'm very excited about Evian and the British, to see all those champions, but I'm going to try not to be too stressed and relax, because next to some of them I feel like a little girl!" she said.

Kreutz collected her maiden win on Tour at the 2003 La Perla Italian Open after five years as a professional.

This win takes her to third in the money list and fifth in the automatic Solheim Cup points rankings, where there are seven automatic qualifying spots available in the European team.

Earlier in the day England 's Rebecca Hudson set the pace by carding a course record equalling 62 (-9).

Hudson , 26, from Doncaster in England , started her birdie campaign at the second hole, with a simple tap in. She then birdied the fifth and eighth holes to turn in 32.

Then, she went birdie, eagle, birdie, eagle, from the 12 th hole, taking full advantage of the par-fives. At the 13 th , she chipped in for eagle and at the 15th, she holed her sand wedge from a full 73 yards.

Another birdie at the 17 th put her on course for a possible course record as she was ten under coming down the 18th. However nerves got the better of her and she three putted the last for bogey to come home in 30, equalling the course record set in the first round last year by Finland 's Blomqvist, the defending champion.

"I only needed a par to break the course record as I was ten under coming down the last," said Hudson .

"But I must be getting older, as I'm feeling my nerves these days! It's been a while since I've shot those sorts of scores."

Hudson 's 62 is her best round as a professional, but she actually carded a ten under par 62 as a 16-year old amateur in a club competition at Wheatley GC.

"I've been having a tough time recently but I've been working a lot on my swing and my putting and so this result should be enough to see me keep my card. Now I can just relax and play my game," she said.

Katherina Werdinig from Austria was the top finishing amateur, finishing at one under par for the tournament.

However English amateur Henrietta Brockway, from Mere, who became one of the youngest ever players to make a professional cut in an LET event, finished with a more than respectable level par total.

"I got one shot better each day," said the photogenic 15-year-old, who missed the cut in her previous two forays onto the women's professional circuit, at both the 2003 Ladies Open of Portugal and the Ladies Irish Open.

"I played okay, but I could easily have been nine or ten under, especially if I hadn't dropped a couple at the 15 and 16th."

Brockway, who has been compared to Michelle Wie because of her looks and age, admitted that she thought Wie was a great player.

Like Wie, she is keen to enter the professional ranks as soon as possible, and there are strong signs to suggest that she could be one the next bright young talents on the Ladies European Tour.

199  - Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 69 64 66

203  - Lora Fairclough (ENG) 68 68 67, Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 72 64 67, Samantha Head (ENG) 66 65 72

204  - Marta Prieto (ESP) 69 71 64, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 70 68 66, Nina Reis (SWE) 69 66 69

206  - Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 72 72 62, Marine Monnet-Melocco (FRA) 70 67 69

207  - Barbara Paruscio (ITA) 68 68 71

208  - Nina Karlsson (SWE) 71 73 64, Joanne Oliver (ENG) 74 66 68, Karen Lunn (AUS) 70 69 69, Joanne Mills (AUS) 72 67 69

209  - Karen Margrethe Juul (DEN) 69 74 66, Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 75 66 68, Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 71 68 70, Maria Boden (SWE) 69 68 72, Tullia Calzavara (ITA) 67 68 74, Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 69 65 75

210  - Carlie Butler (AUS) 69 73 68

211  - Federica Piovano (ITA) 75 69 67, Marianne Skarpnord (NOR) 68 74 69, Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 72 69 70, Hazel Kavanagh (IRE) 71 70 70, Lotta Wahlin (SWE) 69 67 75

212  - Margherita Rigon (ITA) 72 71 69, Nora Angehrn (SWI) 73 70 69, Natalie Claire Booth (ENG) 73 69 70, Katharina Werdinig (Am) (AUT) 69 72 71, Karin Borjeskog (SWE) 71 69 72

213  - Henrietta Brockway (Am) (ENG) 72 71 70, Bettina Hauert (GER) 73 70 70, Vicky Uwland (AUS) 71 72 70, Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 75 68 70, Maria Beautell (ESP) 71 71 71, Carina Vagner (DEN) 72 68 73, Uliana Rotmistrova (RUS) 69 69 75

214  - Lynnette Brooky (NZ) 73 71 70, Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 75 69 70, Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 72 70 72, Sara Beautell (ESP) 71 71 72, Emma Zackrisson (SWE) 73 68 73, Isabella Maconi (ITA) 70 70 74

215  - Anna Highgate (WAL) 77 67 71, Clare Lipscombe (ENG) 74 70 71, Caroline Grady (ENG) 73 70 72, Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE) 74 68 73, Marina Arruti (ESP) 68 73 74, Rikke Rasmussen (DEN) 69 71 75, Denise Simon (GER) 71 69 75

216  - Elin Ohlsson (SWE) 74 70 72, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 71 72 73, Lisa Jean (AUS) 75 68 73, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 70 71 75, Carmen Alonso Fuentes (ESP) 70 71 75, Elisa Serramia (ESP) 70 71 75

217  - Peggy Fraysse (FRA) 74 70 73, Alexandra Keighley (ENG) 72 71 74, Liza Walters (ENG) 66 76 75, Emma Weeks (ENG) 72 69 76

222  - Lill Kristin Saether (NOR) 71 72 79



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