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Gwladys Nocera coasts to seven shot win

Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera claimed her fourth Ladies European Tour title with a comprehensive seven stroke victory at the KLM Ladies Open in Holland.

Having set a course record eight-under-64 in the first round, the 32-year-old from Moulins went wire to wire. She carded a two-under-par 70 in the second round and closed with a five-under 67.

She finished on a total of 15-under-par at Eindhovensche Golf to finish seven shots clear of her compatriot Virginie Lagoutte-Clement, who had a 69. England’s Georgina Simpson was third on seven-under-par after a 73.

Nocera became the seventh French winner of the event and the third consecutive French winner. Previously, Stephanie Arricau won on the same golf course in 2006 and Virginie Lagoutte-Clement claimed the title in 2005 at Kennemer G&CC.

Nocera collected €27,000 and 40 Solheim Cup points, increasing her lead on the European rankings and further bolstering her chances of regaining a place on the European Solheim Cup Team that faces the Americans in September.

She had come close to victory on two previous occasions in 2007: firstly at last week’s Northern Ireland Ladies Open where she finished runner up to England’s Lisa Hall after an eight hole play-off and secondly at the Ladies Spanish Open in May, where she finished third.

“I guess this has shown me that I can win if I’m leading from the first round so its one more experience,” said Nocera, a three-time winner in 2006, when she captured the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, the BMW Ladies Italian Open and the Catalonia Ladies Masters.

“I was getting a little bit frustrated because I was playing well but I couldn’t score well. This is a good time to win, but I guess it is always a good time to win!” she said.

Nocera held a two stroke lead over Simpson going into the final round and played a steady front nine. She dropped a shot at the par-three third hole but her putter warmed up from the par-four seventh hole, where she slotted a 20 foot birdie putt. She then birdied the short par-three eighth and reached the turn in one-under 35.

On the back nine, she birdied the 12th and 14th before carding an eagle three at the 15th hole, which took her to 15-under with a five stroke lead with three holes to play. At that point, she was feeling confident that she had the title within her grasp.

“When I made the putt on the par-five for eagle I guess that was it,” she added. “I started to smile which was a sign and I just tried to play my best for the rest of the round.”

She then birdied the 16th and bogeyed the 17th, going to the last with a seven stroke lead. A par at the last saw her home in four-under 32 and sealed her first victory in almost 12 months.

Nocera now has the opportunity to defend next week’s Catalonia Ladies Masters in Spain, which she won last year at Platja D-Aro. This year, it takes place at Club de Golf Masia Bach in Barcelona and she will be one of 40 players in the elite tournament.

Simpson was disappointed with her final round but pleased with her position. “I struggled a bit and got off to an edgy start,” said Simpson. “But I scored in the middle; made a few birdies and just didn’t hole and more putts coming in. I managed to get over the nerves and play steady so I’m happy. I’ll take a third. One day I’ll come back and win this – maybe next year. I’m going to take a week off now so I’m looking forward to having some time at home.”

Sweden’s Louise Friberg carded a 66 and tied for fourth place on six-under-par with Belgian amateur Benedicte Toumpsin, who had a final round 68.

201  - Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 64 70 67

208  - Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 70 69 69

209  - Georgina Simpson (ENG) 69 67 73

210  - Louise Friberg (SWE) 72 72 66, Benedicte Toumpsin (Am) (BEL) 69 73 68

211  - Joanne Mills (AUS) 70 71 70, Sophie Giquel (FRA) 69 72 70, Nathalie David-Mila (FRA) 70 67 74

212  - Laura Terebey (USA) 66 75 71, Sarah Kemp (AUS) 72 66 74

213  - Anja Monke (GER) 69 74 70, Christel Boeljon (Am) (NL) 67 75 71, Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 72 70 71, Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 70 72 71, Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 71 70 72

214  - Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL) 72 73 69, Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 71 73 70, Marta Prieto (ESP) 70 73 71, Sophie Walker (ENG) 70 72 72, Clare Queen (SCO) 71 70 73, Samantha Head (ENG) 69 71 74, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 67 72 75, Cassandra Kirkland (FRA) 69 69 76, Iben Tinning (DEN) 70 67 77

215  - Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 69 75 71, Fame More (ENG) 72 70 73, Laurette Maritz (SA) 71 68 76

216  - Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 72 74 70, Caroline Karsten (Am) (NL) 73 72 71, Leah Hart (AUS) 72 73 71, Jade Schaeffer (FRA) 74 71 71, Marina Arruti (ESP) 73 71 72, Kristie Newton (AUS) 68 76 72, Lisa Jean (AUS) 75 69 72, Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 72 72 72, Karen Lunn (AUS) 76 68 72, Natascha Fink (AUT) 74 70 72, Margherita Rigon (ITA) 72 71 73, Ashleigh Simon (SA) 68 74 74, Lill Kristin Saether (NOR) 73 69 74, Lotta Wahlin (SWE) 71 71 74

217  - Kris Lindstrom (USA) 74 72 71, Kaisa Ruuttila (FIN) 73 73 71, Claire Coughlan (IRE) 73 71 73, Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 71 73 73

218  - Elisa Serramia (ESP) 75 71 72, Marjet van der Graaf (Am) (NL) 74 72 72, Bree Turnbull (AUS) 70 75 73, Stefania Croce (ITA) 72 72 74, Bettina Hauert (GER) 73 71 74, Elisabeth Esterl (GER) 72 72 74, Melodie Bourdy (FRA) 72 71 75, Suzanne Dickens (ENG) 71 72 75, Felicity Johnson (ENG) 74 68 76, Beatriz Recari (ESP) 73 68 77

220  - Kyra van Leeuwen (Am) (NL) 74 72 74, Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 75 71 74, Nienke Nijenhuis (NL) 74 72 74, Kathryn Imrie (SCO) 75 70 75, Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 71 74 75, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 73 71 76, Anne Lise Caudal (FRA) 74 69 77

221  - Lora Fairclough (ENG) 71 75 75, Antonella Cvitan (SWE) 71 75 75, Shani Waugh (AUS) 71 75 75, Stephanie Arricau (FRA) 75 71 75, Helena Alterby (SWE) 76 68 77

222  - Rikke Rasmussen (DEN) 75 71 76, Jo Clingan (ENG) 72 74 76

223  - Maria Boden (SWE) 70 76 77

 




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