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Nikki Garrett gains back to back victories

Australia’s Nikki Garrett secured her second Ladies European Tour title in as many weeks with a final round two-under-par 70 at the Ladies Spanish Open in Castellon on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, who won her first professional title at last week’s Tenerife Ladies Open, defeated England’s Rebecca Hudson by one stroke with a winning total of 13-under-par 275 at Club de Campo Mediterráneo.

Her win continued the Australians’ domination of the Ladies European Tour this season after Karrie Webb secured back-to-back victories in Australia in February, winning both the MFS Women’s Australian Open and the ANZ Ladies Masters. Australians have now won all four strokeplay events on the LET schedule so far this year.

Garrett opened with a 68 and equalled Hudson’s course record set on day one with a seven-under 65 in the second round to establish a one shot lead. However after posting a third round 72, she was two strokes behind Hudson entering the final day.

She was a stroke behind Hudson with three holes to play but the tables turned at the pivotal 154-yard par-three 16th when the Englishwoman made a disastrous error off the tee.

Having played solidly all day, Hudson hit her six-iron tee shot into the water protecting the front of the green and was forced to take a drop. She then chipped on and two-putted resulting in a double-bogey five.

Garrett played her seven-iron onto the left side of the green and safely two-putted for par, which gave her a one stroke advantage with two holes to play.

Hudson faced birdie putts on both the 17th and 18th greens but was unable to convert them to catch the Australian. Garrett said: “I felt bad for Rebecca on 16. She hit it in the water and had a bad hole there. I hit mine quite far left on the green but it just held on.”

Garrett, who was the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year in 2006 for the best newcomer to the Ladies European Tour, admitted that she had benefited from watching the mistake first made by Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera at the 16th. Nocera was playing in the same match as Hudson and Garrett and hit her tee shot into the water first.

“On 16, I was in between clubs and I saw Gwladys hit her ball into the water first. I saw Gwladys hit a seven iron and I was thinking about whether to take a seven or an eight iron so I took a seven-iron,” Garrett said. “Mine went a bit left but I was stoked it hit the green.”

Four years ago the 16th hole was re-designed by Spanish European Tour star Sergio Garcia, who is a member of the club, to make it more difficult and it seemed to have the desired effect.

Garrett admitted that she had been more nervous than when she claimed her maiden victory last week. However her nerves were indiscernible to spectators as she posted two birdies at the fourth and eighth holes. She hit 18 greens, but had 34 putts.

“I wasn’t even thinking about winning. I watched Rebecca play yesterday and I thought there is no way she is not going to shoot under par today,” said Garrett, who collected a first prize cheque for €41,250 and extended her lead in the New Star Money List, with earnings of €84,472.32 from four events. “I never thought I’d win one tournament let alone two in a row. I’m absolutely delighted,” she said.

Hudson, who had a final round 73, was naturally disappointed but explained what happened at the 16th. “I got very nervous, which is unusual for me. I made a very bad nervous golf swing and it was not the hole to have a nervous golf swing.

“This week’s finished. I’ll just go to the Swiss Open next week and aim for another top ten finish. I got lots of Solheim Cup points and it should take me into the top 25 that get into the Women’s British Open so I’m pleased. I’d have taken second at the beginning of the week.”

Hudson moved up to third place on the New Star Money List, with earnings of €32,651.90 from two events and she also moved into fourth place on the European Solheim Cup Team standings, from which the top five players automatically qualify for the team. The next four players qualify from the Rolex World Rankings and there are three captain’s selections.

Nocera, who had a final round 72, finished in third place on 11-under-par and she remained in top spot on the European Solheim Cup Team standings. She moved into fourth place on the New Star Money List with total earnings of €29,364.75.

Sweden’s Louise Friberg (66) finished fourth on ten-under-par; South Africa’s Laurette Maritz (71) finished fifth on nine-under-par; England’s Kirsty Taylor (74) finished sixth on eight-under-par and Cherie Byrnes (69) was seventh on seven-under-par.

Denmark’s Iben Tinning, Australia’s Sarah Kemp and Spanish amateur Carlota Ciganda tied for eighth place on five-under-par.

275  -  Nikki Garrett (AUS) 68 65 72 70

276  -  Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 65 69 69 73

277  -  Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 66 68 71 72

278  -  Louise Friberg (SWE) 68 71 73 66

279  -  Laurette Maritz (SA) 72 70 66 71

280  -  Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 66 70 70 74

281  -  Cherie Byrnes (AUS) 72 70 70 69

283  -  Iben Tinning (DEN) 70 71 75 67 , Sarah Kemp (AUS) 70 71 73 69 , Carlota Ciganda (Am) (ESP) 69 75 67 72

284  -  Joanne Mills (AUS) 75 71 71 67 , Cassandra Kirkland (FRA) 71 73 71 69 , Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 70 73 70 71 , Veronica Zorzi (ITA) 73 68 71 72 , Danielle Masters (ENG) 67 71 73 73

285  -  Fany Schaeffer (FRA) 69 72 75 69 , Elisabeth Esterl (GER) 73 73 70 69 , Maria Boden (SWE) 72 74 69 70 , Bettina Hauert (GER) 71 74 68 72

286  -  Amy Yang (KOR) 69 71 74 72 , Sophie Giquel (FRA) 73 72 68 73

287  -  Stephanie Arricau (FRA) 74 71 72 70 , Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 70 73 75 69 , Lora Fairclough (ENG) 72 73 74 68 , Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 74 70 70 73

288  -  Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 70 75 72 71 , Elin Ohlsson (SWE) 68 73 77 70 , Helena Alterby (SWE) 70 74 72 72 , Samantha Head (ENG) 74 73 69 72

289  -  Anna Rawson (AUS) 71 75 71 72 , Kathryn Imrie (SCO) 73 74 72 70 , Beatriz Recari (ESP) 70 72 74 73 , Kiran Matharu (ENG) 72 71 73 73 , Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL) 71 72 72 74 , Georgina Simpson (ENG) 73 73 74 69

290  -  Tullia Calzavara (ITA) 71 72 74 73 , Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 75 71 72 72

291  -  Fame More (ENG) 73 69 75 74 , Margherita Rigon (ITA) 73 74 71 73 , Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 70 76 73 72 , Eva Steinberger (AUT) 71 70 74 76 , Lisa Jean (AUS) 71 76 73 71 , Anne Lise Caudal (FRA) 74 73 74 70 , Karen-Margrethe Juul (DEN) 76 71 75 69 , Stacy Lee Bregman (SA) 74 73 75 69

292  -  Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 72 73 73 74 , Suzanne Dickens (ENG) 73 73 74 72 , Federica Piovano (ITA) 71 70 80 71 , Shani Waugh (AUS) 76 71 76 69 , Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 77 70 77 68

293  -  Lynn Brooky (NZ) 69 76 74 74 , Paula Marti (ESP) 71 71 77 74 , Martina Eberl (GER) 70 75 75 73 , Mianne Bagger (DEN) 73 74 74 72 , Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 73 74 75 71 , Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 74 70 79 70

294  -  Isabella Maconi (ITA) 73 73 75 73 , Ellen Smets (BEL) 69 75 77 73

295  -  Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 71 75 73 76

296  -  Johanna Westerberg (SWE) 71 72 76 77 , Sara Beautell (ESP) 75 72 75 74

298  -  Elisa Serramia (ESP) 73 73 76 76

299  -  Anna Tybring (SWE) 71 76 72 80 , Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 70 75 77 77

300  -  Claire Coughlan (IRE) 73 73 82 72

 




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