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Iben Tinning claims LET Money List title

Iben Tinning became the first Danish player to win the LET Money List today, when she was awarded the official European number one title at the Catalonia Ladies Masters in Spain .

For Tinning, 31, the award rounded off a fantastic year in which she has earned €199,456.24 in prize money to date, following the KLM Ladies Open in Holland . Heading into the final event of the season, Tinning led the Money List by €19, 283.30 over World no.1 Annika Sorenstam.

But in the absence of Sorenstam at this week's tournament, Gwladys Nocera of France was the closest challenger to Tinning in the field. With Nocera having earned €45,528.24 less than Tinning and a prize of €34,000 on offer to the winner of the Catalonia Ladies Masters, there was no way that the French woman could catch the Dane.

"I have always dreamt about winning the Money list since I was a little child and it is so fantastic when the long term goals you set are full-filled," said Tinning.

"At the beginning of the year I set the goal to win the LET Money list but didn't tell anyone in the beginning.

"After winning two tournaments early in the season, I felt it was okay for me to tell other people."

With three tournament victories, a pregnancy and her third Solheim Cup appearance behind her, 2005 really has been Tinning's year - and she could yet claim her fourth tournament title of the year tomorrow.

She started off her winning streak with her third career victory at the Open de Espana Femenino in May. She then collected her second Tour trophy of the season three weeks later at the BMW Ladies Italian Open in June. Her most recent triumph - her third title of the year and the fifth in her ten years on the LET - came before the home galleries at the Nykredit Masters in Denmark, played near her home town of Copenhagen, the week before The 2005 Solheim Cup.

"After coming back from my bad year in the States, I came back stronger and had learnt a lot about myself and my life," said Tinning, who spent 2004 playing on the LPGA Tour in America .

"I am so happy to be back on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour where I have my friends. I'm close to Denmark so I can go home every Sunday to see family and friends and boyfriend.

"There are so many good players out here that I respect very much so it's quite weird to see my own name on the top of the list."

Tinning has a firm support network which includes her coach James Petts and her mental coach Arne Nielsson as well as her boyfriend Lasse Degn, a Danish hockey player. This week's event will be her last professional tournament until after she gives birth at the end of February 2006.

She hopes to return to competitive golf at the end of June or beginning of July, but the first priority will be to enjoy her time on "maternity leave".

Tinning is the first pregnant recipient of the European no. 1 title, although Nancy Lopez won the Rolex Player of the Year title in America whist pregnant in 1985. Lopez gave birth in March 1986, which will be twenty years before Tinning.

 

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