Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open
Round 4 - Florentyna Parker wins in playoffApril 23, 2017
England’s Florentyna Parker defeated Anna Nordqvist of Sweden with a birdie on the fourth extra hole to capture her third Ladies European Tour title at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain.
With a final round of five-under-par 66, Parker came from four strokes back to tie with Solheim Cup players Nordqvist and Carlota Ciganda on 15-under-par at Club de Golf Terramar in Sitges.
Florentyna Parker of England celebrates as her birdie putt drops on the fourth play-off hole.
This was her third win on tour, following the 2010 ABN AMRO Ladies Open and 2014 Ladies Italian Open.
The home hope, Ciganda’s birdie putt in regulation play lipped out of the hole and the three players returned to the 18th tee.
Ciganda was then eliminated at the first extra hole after her birdie putt drifted right from six feet, but Parker and Nordqvist continued after making theirs from a similar distance.
At the second and third extra holes, Parker and Nordqvist matched each other with pars, but the world no.114 held her nerve to defeat the world no.10 with a birdie putt from three feet.
“I knew I had to win. I know I’m not going to get picked for The Solheim Cup, so I know I have to qualify automatically. I think today I’ve proved that I can play against the best and best them, so I’m really happy,” said Parker, 27.
“I can’t remember how many times I played the 18th hole, but I think I had a few birdies today, so it was fantastic and I still can’t believe it. You’re up against the best players in the world, they come over from the LPGA and it’s so good to beat them! I was putting quite well towards the end and I knew that green off by heart, so I knew it was going to go in. Luckily, she missed!”
Nordqvist was disappointed, but felt that her putting had let her down. She said: “I started with two bogeys this morning and didn’t hit it all that bad. I fought hard. After that, I played really well. I missed a lot of putts but it was hard, they were either bouncy or it was hard to get the break. I made a birdie on 18 to get to 15-under and Carlota gave us a chance by missing the chance she had to birdie 18 in regulation. I felt I played the play-off as I needed to and had good yardages. The second to last putt just bounced, so I was disappointed there and then I thought I had the last putt on 18 and I don’t know how it didn’t go in. Florentyna hit it to three feet on the last hole and she took the chance when she had it. Congratulations to her.”
Despite finishing third, Ciganda received a reception fitting for a champion. Reflecting on her final round, she said: “It’s just golf and I’m happy with the way I played, shooting four-under on the last few holes. It was a good round and I knew I had to make birdie on 18 to win. I hit the putt the way I wanted but just a little too hard. I have to keep learning and keep playing. It’s been a great week and I want to thank all the fans, because I really felt their support. Life is good!”
Compatriot Azahara Muñoz finished fourth on 14-under-par, with overnight leader Melissa Reid of England and Scotland’s Pamela Pretswell tied for fifth on 12-under.
Holly Clyburn finished a stroke further back in sixth place, with fellow Englishwoman Hannah Burke, Karine Icher of France and Swedish rookie Jenny Haglund tied for eighth on 10-under-par.
With her win, Parker moved up to second on the LET Solheim Cup points list, behind Georgia Hall and ahead of Reid and Nordqvist. The European team will be named following the Ricoh Women’s British Open on August 6.
Round 3 - Melissa Reid takes lead with course record 62April 22, 2017
England’s Melissa Reid carded a course record third round of nine-under-par 62 at Club de Golf Terramar on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Sitges, Spain.
The 29-year-old from Derby, who claimed her sixth Ladies European Tour title at the Oates Vic Open in Australia in February, made nine birdies in her first 15 holes but bogeyed the par-5 16th to effectively rule out equalling the LET’s all-time scoring record of 11-under for 18 holes. However, she nailed a long, curling putt on the 18th green for her 10th birdie of the day, sealing a personal career low round, against the stunning backdrop of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
She said afterwards: “It was tough out there today: it was windy, but I’m very happy with a 62.
“Me and my caddie Benji were very careful with our club selection today due to the wind and we did alright. We got the clubs right and put them pin high. I’ve got some new clubs in the bag and they’ve made a huge difference with my distance control, so I’m really happy about it.
“It’s obviously nice to have a four-shot lead but as you can see, there is a nine-under out there. I’ve got Carlota, Aza and Anna behind me. I’ll try not to feel like I’m in the lead but feel like I’m chasing and try not to take my foot off the gas.
“I felt that I did a couple of good days’ work last week with my coach Kevin Craggs. I wasn’t happy with the way I was feeling with my swing in California, so we’ve changed things up a bit and I’m feeling more comfortable with it now.”
Nordqvist made a hole-in-one at the 13th, to win an Omega watch. It was her first since she famously holed in one to win her doubles match in The 2013 Solheim Cup and her fifth in total.
After signing for a 67, she said: “I wasn’t too excited after making a bogey on 12 but I hit such a good 7-iron on 13, it was all over the pin and started working early. I’ve had a lot of close calls the last couple of years, but none have gone in, so I was pretty excited to see it go in actually.
“It was cool to see Mel shoot a low round today. I still haven’t figured out these greens yet and I’ve been a bit clueless but hopefully I can figure it out and catch her tomorrow.”
Fellow Solheim Cup players Ciganda and Muñoz from Spain delighted the home galleries with rounds of 64 and 67 respectively.
Ciganda said: “I’m happy with my round and happy to have a chance tomorrow. I played pretty solid, starting with a birdie on number one and I made an eagle on number nine. I’m playing well and excited for tomorrow.”
After a bogey-free round, Muñoz said: “I played much better today; hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself opportunities so it was kind of an easy round today. Four back doesn’t seem that bad.”
Parker, who is looking for a victory in order to boost her chances of Solheim Cup qualification in August, birdied the last for a 66 to ensure that she will play in the last group with Ciganda and Reid.
She said: “I played really well on the front nine and some putts dropped. I was hitting it close and it was fun to be four-under after nine. I was hitting it the same, but nothing happened, which was a shame, but luckily the last one dropped.”
Solheim Cup player Karine Icher, Swedish rookie Jenny Haglund and Pamela Pretswell are tied for sixth on eight-under, while England’s Felicity Johnson and Holly Clyburn are tied for ninth. Veteran Dame Laura Davies moved up into a share of 11th place with a six-under-par 65.
Round 2 - Nuria Iturrios edges ahead in SpainApril 21, 2017
Home hope Nuria Iturrios fired a second round of six-under-par 65 in fine conditions at Club de Golf Terramar on Friday to take a one stroke lead at the inaugural Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open.
At eight-under-par, the second-year professional from Mallorca holds a narrow lead over French Solheim Cup star Karine Icher and Pamela Pretswell of Scotland, while the first-round leader Anna Nordqvist of Sweden is tied for fourth with Azahara Muñoz, the home winner of last year’s Spanish Open.
The 2016 Lalla Meryem Cup champion, Iturrios enjoyed the ideal scoring conditions and she said: “I want to keep enjoying it and making a lot of birdies. The course is a little bit short, so I can reach the greens on the par fives in two shots. We have 36 more holes so I am just playing and enjoying it.”
Icher, a five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour from 2001-2005, was pleased with her nine birdies in a 64. She said: “I had more putts dropping today. It’s fun to play here. It’s a nice, cute golf course with a lot of opportunities.”
Pretswell, looking for her first LET win, had five birdies and a solitary bogey in a 67 and she said: “Today was really solid. I just had one bogey where I didn’t get up and down and I holed a few putts, so I had a good round. I had a few close putts and a few longer ones that rolled in nicely.”
Although Nordqvist and Muñoz were not at their best, they are well positioned for the weekend, just two strokes from the lead.
Nordqvist said: “I’m quite disappointed with today because I didn’t hit it all that bad. I hit 16 greens and shot one-under, but I made a mess of the eighth. I ended up just missing the fairway and the lie took it way left. I hit it over the green into the bushes, which was not a great place and made a mess out of nine too, with a short putt for birdie that I didn’t make. Other than two or three holes, it was pretty solid, but the putts didn’t go in.”
Muñoz admitted that she could have done better than a 67. “I definitely did not have my best ball-striking day, but I kept myself in it, especially after starting with a couple of bogeys at the start of the round. I was not nervous, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable,” she said.
In a tie for sixth on five-under are English trio Melissa Reid, Florentyna Parker and Holly Clyburn, Swedish rookie Jenny Haglund and Stacey Peters of Australia, while Carlota Ciganda is five from the lead at three-under.
On an afternoon of perfect scoring conditions, Sweden’s Emma Nilsson equalled the course record. Her eight-under-par 63 was 17 shots better than her opening round of 80 and lifted her into a share of 49th position.
Round 1 - Nordqvist takes lead in inaugural Estrella DammApril 20, 2017
World No.10 Anna Nordqvist fired a five-under-par 66 in the first round of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Club de Golf Terramar in Sitges, Spain, on Thursday morning, to hold a one stroke clubhouse lead over English duo Sophie Walker and Florentyna Parker.
The four-time European Solheim Cup player had six birdies and one bogey in her early round and said afterwards: “It was really chilly this morning and I couldn’t feel my hands the first five holes. The conditions were a little tough, but I’m very happy to post five-under today.
“You’ve got to take advantage of the par fives that you can reach and I didn’t really on the back nine today. I played it the other way around, so my back nine was the front nine. I struck it pretty solid, but had a couple of rusty mistakes in the beginning.”
While Nordqvist played in the first group from the 10th hole, Parker went out from hole no.1 at 8am. She fired a bogey-free round of four-under-par with birdies on the short third and 10th, the par-4 11th and par-5 15th holes. The two-time LET tournament winner was pleased to be back in the hunt after a horror start to the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco last week, where she was five-over-par after her first seven holes and said: “I just started better this week. I had a disaster last week and after the first seven holes I was already too many over par. I just wanted to get off to a steady start to give myself a chance, and I did exactly that today. It wasn’t easy. This course, without wind, is very scoreable and you can go very low, but with the wind up, it is quite difficult with some long holes into wind. I played very steady.”
Sophie Walker also made a fast start with three birdies on the front nine, followed by another three birdies against two bogeys on the back. Having tied for third at last year’s Andalucia Costa del Sol Mediterranean Ladies Open, she is pleased to be back in Spain with caddie Adam Cook on the bag.
She said: “The wind picked up slightly towards the end, but I had six birdies and two silly bogeys. I putted really well and the greens are really pure.”
Last year’s Xiamen International Ladies Open winner, Anne Van Dam, from the Netherlands, was in the clubhouse on three-under-par, alongside England’s Felicity Johnson and Pamela Pretswell of Scotland.
Pretswell agreed with Nordqvist’s assessment of the weather conditions. She said: “It was really quite chilly this morning and I’m Scottish, but it was that kind of level. The wind was getting up and the course is playing pretty tough. I’ve not really played in the wind in a while, but it’s nice and challenging out there and good fun.”
Azahara Muñoz from Malaga was the top Spanish player after a morning round of two-under-par 69. She said: “I played really well and hit every fairway and only missed one green. I didn’t make as many putts as I would have liked, but these greens are quite tricky. It gets pretty bouncy and it’s hard to guess the wind, because it was swirling around. You definitely want to be on the right side of the greens because a couple of times I had a 12 or 15-footer, but really downhill and tricky, so the course isn’t as easy as we all thought it was. I thought it was going to be a birdie fest and I don’t think it’s going to be.”