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Joanne Mills clinches narrow victory

Australia's Joanne Mills fought through strong winds and drizzling rain to capture her second Ladies European Tour title at the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.

The 20-year Tour veteran posted rounds of 70, 68, 71 and a final round of 73 at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club in Llanelli to finish on a total of six-under-par, one stroke ahead of Germany's Bettina Hauert and England's Georgina Simpson.

Mills, who has been in contention a number of times this season, won her previous LET title a decade ago at the 1997 German Open. The 37-year-old from Sydney was delighted to have won her second Tour title and a first prize of £52,500.

“I can't believe it. It's taken me ten years to have another win on the LET. I never thought it would take this long, but it has,” said Mills, who began the final round in a tie for the lead with Simpson and England's Rebecca Hudson, who eventually finished in sixth position after a 76.

“I've played well all year and came close in Northern Ireland. I had a good chance in Portugal but I'm just so pleased to finally get it under my belt again.

“ To tell you the truth I was nervous all day. From the very first tee shot to the last putt. I tried to grind my pars out, which I did and I had to get up and down a couple of times. I had a good few birdie chances but couldn't seem to make them. Fortunately everyone was falling away and I just had to hold it together. I did that well enough. It came together at the end.”

Simpson, 31, from Gomersal in West Yorkshire, played with Mills in the final pairing and carded a final round 74 to record her career best finish in six years on the LET.

Meanwhile Hauert's 71 also earned her a place in next month's European Solheim Cup Team.

Five members of the 12-strong European team to take part in next month's Solheim Cup were revealed at the conclusion of the tournament, with three veterans and two debutantes taking part at Halmstad.

The five automatic qualifiers for the event in qualifying order are Gwladys Nocera of France, England's Trish Johnson, Germany's Bettina Hauert, England's Laura Davies and Wales' Becky Brewerton.

The two players who will be making their Solheim Cup debuts are Hauert, 25, and Brewerton, 24.

Brewerton is the first Welsh player to represent Europe in the biennial team matchplay championship. She was hugely relieved to have secured the fifth and final automatic spot as she missed the cut in the final qualifying tournament and was forced to sit out the weekend, hoping that she wouldn't be overtaken by another player on the list.

“I will have a few glasses of champagne tonight. It has been so much for me this season, at the start of the season I was not even thinking about the Solheim Cup and then I played so well and to win the English was so nice,” said Brewerton.

“Now it is good because I have got two weeks off and plus I know I am in the Solheim Cup team now, it is just relief. I have not got anything left to worry about.

“It is a massive honour to be the first Welsh player. I thought that would be Becky Morgan who deserves it so much, but I am just delighted to be in.

“I will have a few days off to let my mind rest and then have some really intensive practice before Denmark so I can get back to my best form for the Solheim.”

Hauert becomes the second German player to have represented Europe at The Solheim Cup, following in the footsteps of Elisabeth Esterl who was a member of the victorious European Team in 2003.

She won her maiden LET victory at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open and she said: “Seriously, I've been fighting for it. I've been struggling for the past couple of weeks and I'm just happy I've come back and I've shown that I'm strong under pressure.

“I mean, hello! Today was the last day to make the Solheim Cup team and I fought my way up there. I was 20 th after the second round and then fifth and now tie for second. I think that's a good jump and that proves that I'm strong under pressure.”

This year's team will be made up of the top five players in the Cup standings, the leading four players from the Rolex world rankings on Monday 20 th September and three captain's picks, which European skipper Helen Alfredsson will announce on Tuesday at a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

The 2007 Solheim Cup takes place at the Halmstad Golfklubb in Sweden from 14-16 September.

The United States team will be finalised in one week, at the conclusion of the Safeway Classic presented by Pepsi in Portland, Oregan, USA.

 

S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe Final scoreboard:

282  - Joanne Mills (AUS) 70 68 71 73

283  - Bettina Hauert (GER) 72 71 69 71, Georgina Simpson (ENG) 72 67 70 74

284  - Iben Tinning (DEN) 69 70 73 72, Amy Yang (KOR) 73 65 72 74

285  - Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 70 65 74 76

286  - Lisa Hall (ENG) 73 69 73 71, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 73 70 70 73

287  - Johanna Westerberg (SWE) 69 71 73 74

288  - Kiran Matharu (ENG) 73 70 73 72, Maria Verchenova (RUS) 72 69 74 73

289  - Lora Fairclough (ENG) 72 72 73 72, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 72 70 73 74, Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 70 69 75 75, Sofia Renell (SWE) 72 69 73 75

290  - Elizabeth McKinnon (NZ) 75 69 77 69, Federica Piovano (ITA) 76 67 75 72, Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 68 72 73 77, Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 70 68 74 78

291  - Laura Terebey (USA) 74 70 76 71, Trish Johnson (ENG) 74 72 73 72, Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 74 70 74 73, Sophie Giquel (FRA) 75 71 72 73

292  - Marina Arruti (ESP) 74 71 73 74, Karen Lunn (AUS) 73 70 74 75, Nikki Garrett (AUS) 73 71 73 75, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 76 70 70 76, Louise Stahle (SWE) 73 68 74 77, Anna Tybring (SWE) 71 72 72 77

293  - Lynn Brooky (NZ) 72 68 78 75, Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 66 73 77 77

294  - Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 74 70 76 74, Helena Alterby (SWE) 77 69 72 76, Stefania Croce (ITA) 71 73 73 77

295  - Anna Rawson (AUS) 77 70 78 70, Leah Hart (AUS) 71 73 79 72, Rachel Bell (Am) (ENG) 76 69 78 72, Jehanne Jail (FRA) 77 70 76 72, Martina Gillen (IRE) 74 73 76 72, Diana Luna (ITA) 74 69 78 74, Sophie Walker (ENG) 72 71 75 77

296  - Nathalie David-Mila (FRA) 78 67 78 73, Asa Gottmo (SWE) 74 71 76 75, Nicole Gergely (AUT) 74 67 77 78

297  - Stephanie Arricau (FRA) 75 72 77 73, Becky Morgan (WAL) 73 69 79 76, Maria Boden (SWE) 72 72 77 76

298  - Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 76 70 76 76, Marta Prieto (ESP) 75 72 75 76, Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 72 71 76 79

299  - Sarah Heath (ENG) 75 70 80 74, Anna Knutsson (SWE) 75 72 77 75, Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 75 71 77 76, Louise Friberg (SWE) 74 69 79 77

300  - Nienke Nijenhuis (NL) 74 73 80 73, Mianne Bagger (DEN) 77 69 79 75, Ana Larraneta (ESP) 75 71 78 76, Stefanie Michl (AUT) 73 73 76 78, Laurette Maritz (SA) 78 67 75 80

301  - Breanne Loucks (Am) (WAL) 73 73 78 77

302  - Martina Eberl (GER) 76 71 81 74, Eva Steinberger (AUT) 75 72 81 74, Virginie Auffret (FRA) 77 70 79 76, Isabella Maconi (ITA) 77 70 74 81

303  - Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 75 72 82 74, Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 76 68 78 81

304  - Christine Hallstrom (SWE) 74 68 82 80

305  - Rikke Rasmussen (DEN) 75 72 82 76, Cherie Byrnes (AUS) 73 73 79 80

306  - Anja Monke (GER) 76 71 84 75, Carlie Butler (AUS) 77 69 83 77

309  - Kris Lindstrom (USA) 75 72 83 79

RTD  - Ashleigh Simon (SA) 72 71 RTD RTD




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