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Bettina Hauert gains three shot victory

Germany's Bettina Hauert secured her second Ladies European Tour victory after a dramatic and rain-soaked final round at the Finnair Masters in Finland.

The 25-year-old carded rounds of 68, 67 and 72 to finish with a six-under-par aggregate of 207.

Her three-stroke victory over Sweden's Johanna Westerberg at the Helsinki Golf Club was the perfect warm-up for her debut appearance on the European Solheim Cup Team in 12 days' time.

Lotta Wahlin from Sweden took third with a two-under-par 211 aggregate score, while English teenager Kiran Matharu and Åsa Gottmo, also from Sweden, tied for fourth on one-under-par.

Difficult winds and frequent showers played their part in the day's action, with the lead shifting several times between Hauert, Westerberg and Finnish 23-year-old Kaisa Ruuttila.

Hauert got off to the worst possible start, taking an eight at the par-four first hole. Having begun the day with a four-stroke lead on seven-under, she hit her first tee-shot out-of-bounds. She then took three shots to reach the green with her second ball before three-putting to wipe out her lead and draw level with Ruuttila. The Finn, a first year Tour player, then took control with a birdie at the third.

Despite being encouraged by a chorus of cheers from the home galleries, she dropped four shots in three holes from the fifth to drop to level par.

Westerberg seized the advantage after birdies at the seventh and ninth holes, emerging one stroke ahead of Hauert.

But the German lived up to her reputation for playing well under pressure, firing three birdies in a row from the 12 th to snatch the lead from Westerberg, who triple-bogeyed the 12 th .

The Swede responded with a couple of birdies, but it was not enough to threaten Hauert, who, despite making a late bogey at the 16th, signed off with a birdie at the last to take her second title of 2007 following her victory at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open in May.

“A rollercoaster is the best word to describe it,” said Hauert, whose first prize cheque for €30,000 took her to the top of the New Star Money List with season's earnings of € 213,458.

“I started very bad and I was fighting my way all the time. Finally I found my rhythm and was calm. I was swinging calmer. I found my way back in the game and I found a level. It was really exciting to get to the 18 th with a two shot lead.

“After the first hole where I hit it out of bounds I thought this is going to be a long day at the office. I'm really glad I got my game back and I finished with a birdie on 18.

“When I was standing over the ball the wind picked up really strongly. I went to hit it low and I snap hooked it.

“After the drive, I thought, “okay, I have to make the green”, but that eight broke my neck a bit. I kept going – I got up and down on the second with a very good bunker shot.

“It was just about keeping it going. That eight came as a big shock to me. It was a big shock because everything that I had was gone already. Before the round everybody was saying to me that I had got it, that it would be easy, but then it was all gone.

“It was hard but if you want to win a tournament you've got to get over an eight, and that's what I did.”

The 12 th hole, which Hauert birdied and Westerberg triple bogeyed, was a pivotal hole however Westerberg recovered well with back-to-back birdies and posted her career best finish in six years on Tour.

“I played really well this week, I just made a couple mistakes here and there,” said Westerberg, who delighted the galleries with a hole-in-one on the first day.

“I wasn't that excited about going out when I saw the weather report. I thought I might not be able to play all 18 holes but once I got going it wasn't that bad.

“I had a good caddie and I got off to a good start. I was two-under in the rain before I made my triple bogey.”

Elsewhere, star-in-the-making Dottie Ardina outplayed many of her professional counterparts by finishing tied-29 th . The 13-year-old from the Philippines finished on six-over-par.

Ruuttila went on to finish as the leading home-grown player at level-par, and shared a tie for sixth with Nathalie David-Mila of France.

The Ladies European Tour now moves to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Nykredit Masters from September 6-9 before the pinnacle event in women's golf, The Solheim Cup, takes place at Halmstad Golfklubb in Sweden, from September 14-16.

Please find the final results below and attached along with the updated New Star

Finnair Masters

Helsinki Golf Club, Finland

31 August – 2 September 2007

Final score board:

 

207  - Bettina Hauert (GER) 68 67 72

210  - Johanna Westerberg (SWE) 68 72 70

211  - Lotta Wahlin (SWE) 70 71 70

212  - Kiran Matharu (ENG) 67 73 72, Asa Gottmo (SWE) 66 74 72

213  - Nathalie David-Mila (FRA) 71 73 69, Kaisa Ruuttila (FIN) 70 69 74

214  - Joanne Mills (AUS) 71 72 71, Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 71 70 73, Elisabeth Esterl (GER) 73 67 74

215  - Danielle Masters (ENG) 74 73 68

216  - Anna Rawson (AUS) 72 74 70, Martina Eberl (GER) 66 77 73, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 70 72 74, Anja Monke (GER) 73 75 68, Kris Lindstrom (USA) 65 75 76

217  - Stephanie Arricau (FRA) 71 72 74, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 66 76 75, Helena Alterby (SWE) 77 71 69, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 72 69 76, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 71 70 76

218  - Sophie Walker (ENG) 74 72 72, Isabella Maconi (ITA) 71 74 73, Cassandra Kirkland (FRA) 70 74 74, Samantha Head (ENG) 72 75 71, Lynn Kenny (SCO) 71 72 75, Eva Steinberger (AUT) 71 71 76, Louise Friberg (SWE) 72 76 70

219  - Dottie Ardina (Am) (PHI) 69 77 73, Beatriz Recari (ESP) 73 73 73, Laurette Maritz (SA) 75 72 72, Margherita Rigon (ITA) 68 74 77

220  - Leah Hart (AUS) 72 73 75, Marina Arruti (ESP) 73 72 75, Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 72 73 75, Marta Prieto (ESP) 75 69 76, Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 70 74 76, Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 75 72 73, Fame More (ENG) 70 72 78, Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 68 72 80

221  - Emma Zackrisson (SWE) 71 75 75, Karen-Margrethe Juul (DEN) 74 70 77, Lisa Jean (AUS) 71 73 77, Lynn Brooky (NZ) 68 75 78, Stefanie Michl (AUT) 73 70 78, Jenni Kuosa (FIN) 70 77 74, Bree Turnbull (AUS) 71 71 79, Iben Tinning (DEN) 71 77 73, Elizabeth McKinnon (NZ) 71 77 73

222  - Sarah Kemp (AUS) 73 73 76, Tania Elosegui (ESP) 72 71 79

223  - Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 74 72 77, Stacy Lee Bregman (SA) 72 73 78, Anna Knutsson (SWE) 73 73 77, Karen Lunn (AUS) 71 77 75, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 71 77 75

224  - Sofia Renell (SWE) 72 75 77, Maria Verchenova (RUS) 74 73 77, Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 72 75 77, Hazel Kavanagh (IRE) 74 74 76, Federica Piovano (ITA) 74 74 76

225  - Clare Queen (SCO) 74 73 78, Melodie Bourdy (FRA) 77 70 78, Rosa Svahn (Am) (FIN) 75 73 77, Nienke Nijenhuis (NL) 73 75 77

226  - Anna Tybring (SWE) 74 73 79, Antonella Cvitan (SWE) 75 72 79

227  - Claire Coughlan (IRE) 75 73 79

228  - Laura Terebey (USA) 74 72 82, Natascha Fink (AUT) 77 70 81, Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 70 77 81, Rikke Rasmussen (DEN) 72 76 80

231  - Libby Smith (USA) 70 78 83

 




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