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Lalla Meryem Cup

Round 4 - Nocera holds on to lead to claim Lalla Meryem Cup

March 29, 2015
Gwladys Nocera, 2015 Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera made amends for the heartbreak of her play-off defeat 12 months ago by coming back and claiming a two stroke victory in the Lalla Meryem Cup at Golf de L’Ocean in Agadir.

The 39-year-old Frenchwoman sealed her 14th Ladies European Tour title, just three months after her last victory in the Hero Women’s Indian Open.

She started the day with a two stroke lead and a final round of one under par 70 was enough to end two ahead of three other players: English duo Melissa Reid (66) and Felicity Johnson (67) and South African Nicole Garcia (70).

“I remember last year when Charley (Hull) kept on getting birdies in the last round, so I knew this morning that it could happen. All I kept saying was I need to play my game and make as many birdies as I can. I tried my best,” said Nocera, who also won the Lalla Meryem Cup in 2007, before it was sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour.

“It was a tough day towards the end. I took a really stupid double bogey which put me in trouble. I missed one fairway today and I took a double bogey, so that was a shame, but I wanted this tournament really bad. I’ve always said it, and I’m really happy I did it.”

Nocera made a strong start with birdies on the second, third and eighth holes to keep a two stroke lead over Garcia at the turn, but there was plenty of drama on the back nine.

When she birdied the par five 11th hole, which Garcia bogeyed, Nocera took a four shot advantage at 16 under, but after a double bogey on the par-four 14th hole, that lead was reduced to just one stroke. Johnson, who had fired six birdies in 13 holes, reached 13 under but then bogeyed 16 and 18. After Nocera three putted the 17th from short range, she held a two stroke lead standing on the par-3 18th tee and sealed the win and first prize of €67,500 with a simple par.

“Gwladys is a great player who’s done this many times before,” said Johnson, a two-time LET winner who claimed her last title at the 2011 French Open.

“It’s been a little while since I’ve been in contention so it’s nice to get that feeling on a Sunday: that’s what we play golf for. I’m disappointed at the moment but give me a couple of hours and it will be alright.”

Melissa Reid, who won her last title at the 2012 Prague Golf Masters, was also delighted to be back in contention. She said: “I actually felt pretty good this morning and it’s nice to be in this position, put yourself back in contention. My driver was not a good boy today but I scrambled really, really well. I holed a chip and holed a pitch, so it’s one of those things. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. It’s a huge positive and I would have taken second at the start of the week.”

Garcia’s tie for second place was her career best finish on the Ladies European Tour and shows what she is capable of after solid preparation having played in eight tournaments already this year in South Africa.

Garcia said: “I started off pretty well. I was three under after nine holes and I thought if I can just keep it going and make one or two more birdies I might stand a chance but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

“It does make me feel a lot more settled. I had a good week so hopefully I can carry on the theme through the year.”

Rookie professional Nanna Madsen, who finished third in New Zealand last month, continued to impress with a solo fifth place finish, while Frenchwoman Celine Herbin was sixth and Switzerland’s Melanie Maetzler was seventh.

Fellow Swiss player Anaïs Maggetti shared eighth place with England’s Charley Hull, Frenchwomen Anne-Lise Caudal and Isabelle Boineau and Scotland’s Pamela Pretswell, who recorded her third top ten of the season.

The 2014 champion Hull ended with a five under par 66 and said: “I’m really happy with the way I finished and especially being nine under for the weekend. I hit all the fairways today and my game is in good shape. I think I came back strong after being ill earlier in the week and I’m feeling good about the way I’m hitting it going into the first major of the year.”

Following her victory, Nocera now has 19 Life Member Points and needs just one more point to become a Life Member of the Ladies European Tour.

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Round 3 - Nocera takes 2 stroke lead into final day

March 28, 2015

Gwladys Nocera put herself in the perfect position to make amends for her play-off defeat to Charley Hull last year as she posted a third round of three under par 68 in perfect conditions at Golf de L’Ocean on Saturday.

For the second straight year, the 39-year-old Frenchwoman takes a two stroke lead into the final round at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

The 13-time Ladies European Tour tournament champion, who claimed her most recent title at the Hero Women’s Indian Open in December, lies on 12 under par, ahead of South African Nicole Garcia.

“I was playing well the front nine and didn’t make any putts so it was nice to see the putts drop. I’m playing well,” said Nocera, who made six birdies and three bogeys in her third round.

“It’s a course where everyone can shoot a low score so I have to play really well tomorrow.”

Second year professional Garcia, 24, from Kempton Park, will be chasing her first Ladies European Tour title, although she collected a trophy on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa last month.

After recovering from a bogey on the fifth with three birdies on the sixth, 11th and 16th, she said: “I’ve never played in the final group before on the LET so I got to play with Gwladys, which was quite nice. She’s a lot more experienced than me so hopefully I’ve learned some things today. I’m just going to try to keep calm, not think about it and if it’s my day, it’s my day.”

A stroke further back in a share of third place, Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and Eleanor Givens of England are also both hunting their first LET titles.

Wikstrom has recorded four second place finishes in 11 years on tour, while Givens’ best finish was sixth in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. However, the fourth year professional has fond memories of Golf de L’Ocean, where she played her first event as a professional and tied for 22nd place in 2012.

“I’m putting well and chipped in today, on number 12, so that makes a difference,” said Givens, 26, from Darlington.

“Everybody’s out there looking to win, so I’ll try to do that, but just do the things that are under my control. If I hit every shot as solidly as I can then I’ll have a good chance.”

Fellow Englishwoman Felicity Johnson lies in fifth place on seven under par and only five strokes off the lead. She is looking for a third LET title and her first since the 2011 French Open.

She said: “I feel like I left a few out there today. I hit 17 greens which is pretty good. I didn’t roll the ball as well as I have the last two days but it’s in a good place going into tomorrow.”

Last year’s Lalla Aicha Tour School winner Nanna Madsen from Denmark shares sixth place with Frenchwoman Celine Herbin and English duo Melissa Reid and Florentyna Parker.

After scraping through the cut, last year’s champion Charley Hull flew up the leader board into a tie for 28th position, with a four under par 67 to lie 11 shots off the lead.

In last year’s final round, Hull came from five strokes behind Nocera to force a play-off and claim her maiden title but it will take something special to catch the Frenchwoman this year.

The final round gets under way at 8.04am local time, with Nocera, Garcia and Givens out last at 10.19am.

Round 2 - Nocera takes slim lead in Agadir

March 27, 2015
Gwladys Nocera, 2015 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco

Gwladys Nocera from France fired a six under par 65 to take a one stroke lead into the weekend at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Last year’s runner-up fired six birdies including four in a row from the first hole on a glorious second day at Golf de L’Ocean in Agadir.

At nine under par, she ended the day one stroke clear of South African Nicole Garcia, who also shot 65.

Nocera said: “I’m really happy with the way things turned out today. I hit the ball well and putted well, so everything is in order. I made a good putt on number one where I was six metres away and then I was two metres away each time, so some good putts. They were not easy, but I hit the ball well.

“I just want to play my game. I’m trying to get ready for next week. I’m playing the ANA Inspiration in the US, so I want my coach to come and work on my game. I’ve always wanted to win this tournament, so that’s why I’m here and I’ll try my best for the weekend.”

Garcia, a second year member of the Ladies European Tour, notched four birdies and an eagle on the front nine and moved into a share of the lead with another birdie on 11 before dropping a shot on 16.

The 24-year-old said: “I had a good front nine and I was hoping to keep it going on the back nine, but I’m happy with the score because the wind picked up a little bit. I think the turning point was the par-5 sixth hole because I made an eagle there and then birdie, birdie. That got me going a bit so that was where my score went low.”

Garcia warmed up for the season with eight starts on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, where she celebrated her maiden win at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies in February. Before that, Garcia last competed in Morocco in December, where she won the First Stage of the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School and finished fifth in the Final Stage.

“When I first came here I was just hoping to make the cut, and I hope I’ve done that,” she said. “Now, I don’t really have any expectations and I’m just going to play on the weekend.”

Overnight co-leader Ursula Wikstrom fired a three under par 68 to lie in joint third place with French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez, 16, on seven under par.

Fellow Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal and England’s Felicity Johnson share fifth.

Local star Maha Haddioui, from Agadir, was devastated to miss the cut by a stroke, although the 2014 champion Charley Hull carded a level par 71 and made it through on the mark at three over par. She said that it was never in doubt: “I was in it all the way.”

After mixing a trio of bogeys with an eagle and a birdie she added: “I hit it really well today, just all my putts. I hit 16 greens in regulation and hit every fairway apart from two or three.”

Other players in the mix include Denmark’s Nanna Madsen in a tie for seventh, who won the Final Stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco in December, while fellow rookie Georgia Hall just survived the cut.

Round 1 - Scandinavian duo leading in Morocco

March 26, 2015
Ursula Wikstrom of Finland with her husband during the first round of Lalla Meryem Cup
Ursula Wikstrom of Finland with her husband during the first round.

Ladies European Tour rookie Tonje Daffinrud of Norway and 12th season veteran Ursula Wikstrom of Finland share the first round lead at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco after recording a pair of four under par 67s in fair conditions at Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir on Thursday.

Daffinrud, playing in her third Ladies European Tour event, set the early target after rattling off four birdies including a two metre effort on the par four ninth, her last hole.

“It was a pretty good start to the week. I felt really good so I was able to attack some pins and I’m happy,” said the 23-year-old from Tønsberg, who felt that playing in eight events on the LET Access Series last year, with one win at the Azores Open, was the perfect preparation.

“It helped me a lot. I came straight from college so I didn’t know what professional life would be like so for me that was the only way to get into it. I learned a lot from it: just the routine of travelling every week and you become friends with all the players.

“It’s early. I’m not going to put too much into it. I feel great today and I’ll go out and do the same tomorrow. I had a good start to the season and this is where I want to be. I’m here to win,” she added.

The University of Denver graduate was joined by Wikstrom later in the day. The 34-year-old from Espoo posted five birdies and one bogey, carrying strong form across from the World Ladies Championship in China, where she finished fifth a fortnight ago.

Wikstrom said: “It was an easy day and I sneaked in the score. I didn’t feel I was playing that well, but only five birdies, one bogey and not too many mistakes. I used all the chances that I had.

Tonje Daffinrud of Norway celebrates a birdie on the par 4 9th hole“I made one bogey on number one, my 10th, where I hit it on the left and had to take a drop.

“After yesterday it was pretty easy, because there was not that much wind but the greens are much faster than at the beginning of the week and also the fairways, so you get more run on the ball, but we’ve played here so many years that I know the course quite well.”

The pair hold a one stroke lead over 10 other players, including five Frenchwomen: Gwladys Nocera, Jade Schaeffer, Anne-Lise Caudal, Celine Herbin and 16-year-old amateur Matthilda Cappeliez, who finished 25th in the tournament last year.

“I remember last year. It was good and bad memories, but it was an experience, so just keep going and forget the bad ones,” said Cappeliez. “I made a few birdies on the front and on the back also, so it was nice. Unfortunately I was unlucky on the eighth and I put my drive into a tree.”

Nocera, who was beaten to the title by Charley Hull in a play-off at the same golf course last year, was happy with her first round and said: “It’s always good to start the tournament like this. I hit 16 greens and didn’t miss many fairways, so everything went well.”

Also on three under are four Englishwomen: Trish Johnson, Ellie Givens, Felicity Johnson and Florentyna Parker and Dane Nicole Broch Larsen.

The defending champion Hull had a tough day with four bogeys and a double on the eighth against three birdies in a three over par 74.

“I didn’t hit it very well… I mean, I hit it alright, but just didn’t score,” said Hull, on her way to the practice putting green.

Scores

Pos Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Score Prize
1 Gwladys NOCERA 68 65 68 70 -13 271 € 67,500.00
2 Nicole GARCIA 69 65 69 70 -11 273 € 29,250.00
2 Melissa REID 69 68 70 66 -11 273 € 29,250.00
2 Felicity JOHNSON 68 68 70 67 -11 273 € 29,250.00
5 Nanna Koerstz MADSEN 69 68 70 68 -9 275 € 16,200.00
6 Celine HERBIN 68 69 70 69 -8 276 € 13,950.00
7 Melanie MAETZLER 71 69 68 69 -7 277 € 12,600.00
8 Anais MAGGETTI 73 71 70 64 -6 278 € 10,350.00
8 Pamela PRETSWELL 70 68 71 69 -6 278 € 10,350.00
8 Isabelle BOINEAU 72 69 68 69 -6 278 € 10,350.00
8 Charley HULL 74 71 67 66 -6 278 € 10,350.00
8 Anne-Lise CAUDAL 68 68 72 70 -6 278 € 10,350.00
13 Amy BOULDEN 71 70 70 68 -5 279 € 8,145.00
13 Tonje DAFFINRUD 67 72 71 69 -5 279 € 8,145.00
13 Eleanor GIVENS 68 69 68 74 -5 279 € 8,145.00
13 Rebecca HUDSON 70 71 70 68 -5 279 € 8,145.00
13 Florentyna PARKER 68 70 69 72 -5 279 € 8,145.00
18 Camilla LENNARTH 73 69 71 67 -4 280 € 7,087.50
18 Malene JORGENSEN 72 68 69 71 -4 280 € 7,087.50
20 Ursula WIKSTROM 67 68 70 76 -3 281 € 6,300.00
20 Rebecca ARTIS 70 72 69 70 -3 281 € 6,300.00
20 Emily Kristine PEDERSEN 71 69 69 72 -3 281 € 6,300.00
20 Chloe LEURQUIN 72 68 70 71 -3 281 € 6,300.00
20 Liz YOUNG 73 71 69 68 -3 281 € 6,300.00
25 Lucie ANDRE 73 71 70 68 -2 282 € 5,512.50
25 Stacy Lee BREGMAN 71 70 69 72 -2 282 € 5,512.50
27 Mathilda CAPPELIEZ 68 67 75 73 -1 283
27 Charlotte ELLIS 69 70 73 71 -1 283 € 4,725.00
27 Marta SANZ 72 70 67 74 -1 283 € 4,725.00
27 Marta SILVA ZAMORA 76 68 72 67 -1 283 € 4,725.00
31 Valentine DERREY 70 74 70 70 E 284 € 4,320.00
31 Emma GODDARD 71 72 68 73 E 284 € 4,320.00
31 Noora TAMMINEN 74 71 68 71 E 284 € 4,320.00
34 Minea BLOMQVIST 70 72 69 74 1 285 € 3,780.00
34 Alex PETERS 76 69 70 70 1 285 € 3,780.00
34 Nina MUEHL 73 72 69 71 1 285 € 3,780.00
34 Stacey KEATING 71 71 70 73 1 285 € 3,780.00
34 Beth ALLEN 70 70 72 73 1 285 € 3,780.00
39 Krista BAKKER 71 72 70 73 2 286 € 3,087.00
39 Patricia SANZ BARRIO 69 70 75 72 2 286 € 3,087.00
39 Maria BEAUTELL 71 68 76 71 2 286 € 3,087.00
39 Titiya PLUCKSATAPORN 70 74 71 71 2 286 € 3,087.00
39 Caroline MARTENS 76 69 69 72 2 286 € 3,087.00
44 Mireia PRAT 71 70 72 74 3 287 € 2,520.00
44 Klara SPILKOVA 70 73 73 71 3 287 € 2,520.00
44 Lina BOQVIST 71 69 70 77 3 287 € 2,520.00
44 Louise FRIBERG 70 75 71 71 3 287 € 2,520.00
44 Stephanie NA 71 72 72 72 3 287 € 2,520.00
49 Marianne SKARPNORD 71 72 71 74 4 288 € 2,160.00
49 Sophie WALKER 75 68 72 73 4 288 € 2,160.00
49 Margherita RIGON 72 70 75 71 4 288 € 2,160.00
52 Linda HENRIKSSON 69 75 72 73 5 289 € 1,755.00
52 Lynn CARLSSON 73 71 76 69 5 289 € 1,755.00
52 Lauren TAYLOR 73 71 72 73 5 289 € 1,755.00
52 Jade SCHAEFFER 68 74 73 74 5 289 € 1,755.00
52 Sophie GIQUEL-BETTAN 69 72 74 74 5 289 € 1,755.00
52 Trish JOHNSON 68 73 70 78 5 289 € 1,755.00
58 Rebecca SORENSEN 70 71 74 76 7 291 € 1,462.50
58 Paula HURTADO 71 70 74 76 7 291 € 1,462.50
60 Sophie SANDOLO 72 70 78 72 8 292 € 1,350.00
60 Luna SOBRON 73 68 73 78 8 292
60 Georgia HALL 73 72 74 73 8 292 € 1,350.00
60 Alexandra VILATTE 74 71 74 73 8 292 € 1,350.00
64 Monique SMIT 75 70 77 71 9 293 € 1,192.50
64 Emma WESTIN 70 74 72 77 9 293 € 1,192.50
64 Georgina SIMPSON 71 73 75 74 9 293 € 1,192.50
64 Kylie WALKER 77 66 71 79 9 293 € 1,192.50
68 Laura CABANILLAS 73 71 76 74 10 294 € 1,035.00
68 Anne VAN DAM 73 69 76 76 10 294 € 1,035.00
68 Bree ARTHUR 73 72 76 73 10 294 € 1,035.00
71 Steffi KIRCHMAYR 74 71 79 71 11 295 € 922.50
71 Leigh WHITTAKER 77 68 77 73 11 295 € 922.50
73 Cassandra KIRKLAND 71 74 77 74 12 296 € 855.00
74 Stefania CROCE 74 71 80 72 13 297 € 810.00
The Cut
75 Holly CLYBURN 74 72 4 146
75 Connie CHEN 73 73 4 146
75 Anjelika HAMMAR 71 75 4 146
75 Becky BREWERTON 73 73 4 146
75 Maha HADDIOUI 73 73 4 146
80 Michele THOMSON 75 72 5 147
80 Josephine JANSON 75 72 5 147
80 Bonita BREDENHANN 71 76 5 147
80 Sally WATSON 74 73 5 147
80 Vani KAPOOR 79 68 5 147
80 Nicole BROCH LARSEN 68 79 5 147
80 Laura MURRAY 76 71 5 147
80 Holly AITCHISON 72 75 5 147
88 Linda WESSBERG 75 73 6 148
88 Ann-Kathrin LINDNER 73 75 6 148
88 Fabienne IN-ALBON 75 73 6 148
88 Carly BOOTH 75 73 6 148
88 Kelsey MACDONALD 71 77 6 148
88 Anna Christina KINDGREN 74 74 6 148
88 Isabella RAMSAY 78 70 6 148
88 Amber RATCLIFFE 72 76 6 148
88 Marion RICORDEAU 75 73 6 148
88 Heather MACRAE 76 72 6 148
88 Csilla LAJTAI-ROZSA 71 77 6 148
88 Vikki LAING 75 73 6 148
100 Christine WOLF 76 73 7 149
100 Karolin LAMPERT 76 73 7 149
100 Hannah RALPH 75 74 7 149
100 Whitney HILLIER 75 74 7 149
100 Elisa SERRAMIA 78 71 7 149
100 Caroline AFONSO 78 71 7 149
106 Victoria LOVELADY 75 75 8 150
106 Carmen ALONSO 75 75 8 150
106 Sahra HASSAN 75 75 8 150
106 Kim WILLIAMS 76 74 8 150
106 Elina NUMMENPAA 75 75 8 150
106 Daisy NIELSEN 73 77 8 150
106 Caroline ROMINGER 74 76 8 150
106 Sophie GUSTAFSON 75 75 8 150
114 Sharmila NICOLLET 79 72 9 151
114 Melodie BOURDY 75 76 9 151
114 Laura JANSONE 76 75 9 151
117 Rebecca CODD 78 74 10 152
117 Lucy WILLIAMS 73 79 10 152
117 Virginia ESPEJO 74 78 10 152
117 Lien WILLEMS 77 75 10 152
117 Natalie WILLE 77 75 10 152
122 Hannah BURKE 78 75 11 153
123 Lucie HINNEROVA 79 75 12 154
124 Marie FOURQUIER 78 77 13 155
125 Louise LARSSON 79 77 14 156
126 Marika VOSS 75 83 16 158

 

Preview

DATES:  March 26-29
SITE: Golf de l'Ocean, Agadir, Morocco
PRIZE MONEY: € 450,000
Click here for tournament stats & info

The fifth tournament of the 2015 Ladies European Tour season gets under way this week in Agadir, Morocco. Here are a few reasons to get excited about the event…

1.Men and women players side by side

This is the only event on the Ladies European Tour which is played alongside the men’s European Tour, in the same city, during the same week, and it’s a unique experience for spectators and competitors alike. While the LET’s female members contest the Lalla Meryem Cup at Golf de l’Océan, the European Tour’s male golfers play in the Hassan II Golf Trophy at the nearby Golf du Palais Royal. Although the men and women do not play on the same golf course, members of both tours attend several shared functions, coaching clinics and ceremonies, which makes it an exceptional week in world golf.

2.Royal welcome

The Lalla Meryem Cup is played under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, who chairs the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association (ATH). The Lalla Meryem Cup is named after Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, the first daughter and eldest child of the late King Hassan II of Morocco, who usually attends the prize giving ceremony at Golf du Palais Royal. The LET has forged close ties with ATH in recent years with the addition of Lalla Aicha Tour School.

3.Live television

This year the Lalla Meryem Cup will be broadcast live around the world for the first time, which will convey the warm and friendly atmosphere of this unique event. Not only will viewers around the world be able to experience the breath taking scenery and tremendous hospitality, but the facilities and region will become better recognised as a leading destination in world golf.





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