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Veronica Zorzi gains maiden victory at Open de France Dames
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Veronica Zorzi gains maiden victory at Open de France Dames

Veronica Zorzi from Italy claimed her maiden professional victory and €45,000 in prize winnings at the €300,000 Arras Open de France Dames, at Le Golf d'Arras, near Anzin St. Aubin.

The 24-year-old from Verona fired a final round 68 to finish at twelve-under-par, one shot clear of England 's Trish Johnson.

Johnson just missed a vital birdie putt at the 18 th from twelve feet to finish in outright second position. New Zealand 's Lynnette Brooky, the 2002 and 2003 French Ladies Open Champion, carded a blistering 67 to finish in outright third at eight-under-par.

France's Gwladys Nocera and Ludivine Kreutz tied for fourth position alongside Judith Van Hagen from the Netherlands at seven-under-par. Helena Alterby from Sweden finished at six-under-par and four others tied at five-under; Marine Monnet Melocco from France, Anja Monke from Germany, Cecilia Ekelundh from Sweden and England's Suzanne Dickens.

With her maiden Tour victory, Zorzi fulfilled a promise that she had set herself last week at the BMW ladies Italian Open, after an eagle three at the last left her a shot back in second position.

She said that France would provide another chance to seal a victory, and today the Inter Milan fan seized that opportunity, with a little help from her friend and fellow Italian Federica Piovano.

Piovano, who won the Siemens Ladies Austrian Golf Open only three weeks ago in Vienna, acted as Zorzi's caddy in the final round. With team Italia sporting matching orange colours in the last group, losing never seemed an option for the formidable duo, despite two dropped shots at holes 12 and 16 on the back nine.

Zorzi fired five birdies on the front nine at the first, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth holes, but had to be patient on the back nine, where her only birdie came on the 18 th , just at the right time.

"On the last putt I just focused and hit the ball, it was like a dream," Zorzi admitted.

"I panicked on 17 when I had such a long putt but managed to save par and but when I bogeyed 16 I just thought, okay, there are another two holes left to birdie. The 12 th and 16 th were difficult holes because I had the wind against me.

"Now I'm closer to my goal to play in The Solheim Cup and I think about that a lot. I'm very happy and I feel quite emotional because I have waited for this victory a long time."

This is Zorzi's fifth year competing on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour and she has had an exceptional start to the season. She tied for third place at the ANZ Ladies Masters in February, at the Royal Pines Resort, her favourite golf course. Then she finished tied for fifth in another strong field at the Siemens Ladies Austrian Golf Open and second last week at the BMW Ladies Italian Open in Rome .

She is now back at the top of the LET Money List and third in the Solheim Cup rankings. If she keeps in position she will become the first Italian to compete in The European Solheim Cup team and with this win, she also secures automatic qualification to play in this year's $2.5 million Evian Masters.

This win is the result of two years' work with sports psychologist Massimo Giugini in Milan and her coach Maestroni.

Zorzi, who used to play volleyball for the Italian B team when she was younger, also works with her father, Adriano, who is a teaching professional, in Milan .

"I've worked very hard but today I was very patient and my caddy helped me to relax in between shots and keep smiling," admitted Zorzi.

Piovano and Zorzi have been friends for ten years, since they started to play golf together for the Italian national team and Zorzi began to play golf at the age of twelve.

 

276  - Veronica Zorzi (ITA) 73 70 65 68

277  - Trish Johnson (ENG) 70 69 69 69

280  - Lynnette Brooky (NZ) 71 68 74 67

281  - Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 73 67 71 70, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 71 69 68 73, Judith Van Hagen (NL) 69 73 66 73

282  - Helena Alterby (SWE) 71 72 68 71

283  - Marine Monnet-Melocco (FRA) 73 71 71 68, Anja Monke (GER) 72 67 74 70, Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE) 71 74 66 72, Suzanne Dickens (ENG) 70 70 70 73

284  - Julie Forbes (SCO) 69 74 70 71, Sophie Giquel (FRA) 73 71 68 72

286  - Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 69 75 74 68, Iben Tinning (DEN) 72 72 72 70, Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 68 73 72 73, Nicole Stillig-Gogele (GER) 66 76 71 73, Karen Lunn (AUS) 69 67 74 76, Diana Luna (ITA) 72 67 70 77

287  - Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 70 72 76 69, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 71 73 72 71, Laurette Maritz (SA) 69 73 71 74, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 71 72 69 75

288  - Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 68 72 75 73, Carina Vagner (DEN) 68 74 73 73, Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 66 77 72 73

289  - Marina Arruti (ESP) 70 75 73 71,  Georgina Simpson (ENG) 69 74 72 74, Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 75 71 69 74

290  - Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL) 69 74 75 72

291  - Nina Karlsson (SWE) 69 77 76 69, Denise Simon (GER) 71 77 72 71, Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 72 76 71 72, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 73 75 71 72, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 75 71 72 73, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 73 73 71 74

292  - Karin Borjeskog (SWE) 69 77 73 73

293  - Olof Maria Jonsdottir (ICE) 74 74 73 72, Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 74 68 77 74, Martina Eberl (GER) 70 74 75 74, Rikke Rasmussen (DEN) 74 71 73 75, Elisa Serramia (ESP) 72 71 72 78

294  - Alison Munt (AUS) 74 68 78 74, Kerry Knowles (ENG) 71 74 75 74, Cherie Byrnes (AUS) 73 73 72 76, Maria Blomqvist (SWE) 74 72 69 79

295  - Tullia Calzavara (ITA) 72 76 75 72, Asa Gottmo (SWE) 71 71 77 76, Corinne Dibnah (AUS) 68 77 73 77, Emma Zackrisson (SWE) 74 72 72 77, Anna Highgate (WAL) 71 75 71 78

296  - Barbara Paruscio (ITA) 71 73 78 74, Carmen Alonso Fuentes (ESP) 75 70 77 74

297  - Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 73 74 75 75, Sara Jelander (SWE) 72 69 80 76, Emelie Svenningsson (SWE) 72 71 72 82

298  - Jane Leary (AUS) 69 77 80 72, Sophie Hunter (ENG) 72 76 76 74, Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 73 75 75 75, Catherine Schmitt (FRA) 70 77 74 77

299  - Maria Boden (SWE) 71 75 75 78

301  - Isabelle Boineau (Am) (FRA) 70 76 83 72

303  - Anne Lise Caudal (Am) (FRA) 74 73 77 79, Alexandra Armas (ESP) 70 78 75 80

304  - Carlie Butler (AUS) 72 73 79 80

307  - Elisabeth Esterl (GER) 75 72 83 77

RTD  - Helen Beatty (AUS) 74 74 73 RTD

 

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