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Lalla Meryem Cup

Round 4 - Spilková wins Lalla Meryem Cup

April 16, 2017
Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic with her trophy. Credit: Tristan Jones

Klára Spilková became the first Czech player to win a Ladies European Tour event with a one stroke victory over Suzann Pettersen at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

The 22-year-old from Prague fired a final round of 66 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam – which tied the best round of the week with Georgia Hall – and came from four strokes back to claim her first win with a 72-hole total of eight-under-par 280.

Overnight leader Pettersen had a 15-foot birdie putt to tie on the 18th green, but her effort came up just short.

Spilková, who represented the Czech Republic in the Olympic Games in August, was meditating on the practice putting green when she learned the news and she said: “I’m so happy, it’s crazy.”

This was her first start on the LET in 2017, although she warmed up with a fourth-place finish in the Terre Blanche Ladies Open on the LET Access Series last week.

“I just took almost a two month break to work on myself more than anything else. I didn’t play much golf. I was trying to get my mind in the right place and it worked. I feel much better than last year. The hardest challenge is always your ego. I just won for myself, because I felt no ego. I can’t believe it. It’s just great. I don’t really have any emotions now.”

The seventh-year LET member first played in the tournament as a 16-year-old rookie in 2011, the year that her friend and mentor, Zuzana Kamasova, from Slovakia, won the title in Agadir to become the LET’s first winner from Eastern Europe.

Spilková said: “I was thinking about Zuzana as I walked down the 18th and I’m going to call her tonight.” With a first prize cheque of 67,500 euros, she will now move to the top of the LET Order of Merit.

Pettersen signed off with a 71. Having started the final round with a two-stroke lead, she was quickly caught by Annabel Dimmock, who birdied the first two holes to tie at six-under. The world number 17, Pettersen re-established her lead with a birdie on the long sixth, but then bogeyed the 10th and 15th.

Spilková made her fifth birdie of the day at the 13th to tie for the lead and then made a birdie putt of six feet on hole-14 to grab a one stroke advantage.

Pettersen made a long birdie putt on 17 but missed her chance at the final hole. She said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed not to win. I didn’t have my best game from tee to green and it’s cost me this tournament. I had a putt on the last, which ended short. It was in my hands to at least get into a play-off. I kept the hope alive with a birdie on 17 but when you shoot 66 on Sunday you should be there or thereabouts to win the tournament so credit to Spilkova.”

Dimmock signed off with a 70 to end in third place on six-under-par, while fellow Englishwoman Georgia Hall’s 66 saw her tie for fourth with Felicity Johnson on four-under.

Dimmock said: “I feel a bit disappointed but overall, I’m pleased with my week. I was pretty pleasantly surprised, but I got better every day with my swing. Even today, I didn’t hit it well off the tee, but I didn’t let it get me down. It was amazing for me to play with Suzann and I learned a lot and next time I’m in this situation I will be less nervous.”

There were also top-10 finishes for Karolin Lampert and Noora Tamminen, who were sixth and seventh respectively, while the defending champion Nuria Iturrios tied for eighth with Agathe Sauzon and Carly Booth.

Sweden’s Jenny Haglund was the best LET Rookie, in a tie for 11th position and the halfway leader Lydia Hall tied for 14th.

Pos Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Score Prize Money
1 Klara SPILKOVA 69 74 71 66 -8 280 € 67,500.00
2 Suzann PETTERSEN 69 71 70 71 -7 281 € 40,500.00
3 Annabel DIMMOCK 70 69 73 70 -6 282 € 27,000.00

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Round 3 - Pettersen still leading Lalla Meryem

April 15, 2017
Suzann Pettersen of Norway during the third round. Credit: Tristan Jones

Suzann Pettersen fired a third-round 70 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam on Saturday and will take a one stroke lead into the final round of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

The Norwegian golfer, a two-time Major winner, will be looking for her 22nd career title, having most recently lifted the silverware at the 2015 Manulife LPGA Classic.

“I hit a lot more greens today than I did yesterday. I had a lot of good looks. You have to keep the ball in the fairway around here. It’s so unpredictable, what it does out of the rough. The greens are firming up so if you are a little bit short sided it’s hard to get close. Overall, I did a decent job and I’m in a good position. I’m in the last group tomorrow and anything can happen, so I’ll try and stay aggressive,” said the eight-time Solheim Cup player.

“Patience is the key around this place. You can’t get stressed. Mistakes are as easy as good shots are. It’s a fine line and you’ve just got to try and play each hole for what it gives you and try to be aggressive where you can, because there are some holes where you can be a bit lengthy off the tee and try to take advantage and hit a shorter club into the hole. I’m looking forward to another day here in Morocco tomorrow.”

At six-under-par, Pettersen is a stroke clear of the halfway leader Lydia Hall from Wales, who held a three-stroke lead after seven holes in the third round, but lost her position with three straight birdies from the sixth followed by a double bogey at the 10th hole.

Hall said: “I got to two-under for the day after six holes but one poor decision and I didn’t execute the shot on the par-5, sixth. That cost me a shot and then a poor swing on seven cost me another shot. I managed to get up and down to save my bogey but it was one poor decision and then one bad swing. It was tricky in the middle part of the round.

“I stood on the 10th tee thinking of getting back to level par and pulled a tee shot on the left, but I settled the ship through 13, 14 and gave myself an opportunity on 17 to pull one back, so I’m in a good position for tomorrow.

“Yesterday I had no bogeys on the card, so that was really pleasing. It is going to bite you at some point, you’ve only got to miss five yards off the fairway and your underneath trees or in thick rough. The keys for me are to hit fairways and see how many greens in reg I can get and then see what I can do with the putter.”

Annabel Dimmock maintained third position with a 73 and is a stroke further behind Hall. She said: “It was weird because I’m not hitting it great off the tee and I’m playing well apart from that, but one drive got me. I hit the ball so far left, it actually hindered me by finding it. I dropped five shots in two holes but got back up and carried on and I’m surprised about where I’m sitting, for how well I played today. At the turn I was three over, so I said to my caddie, let’s get it back to level for the day. I missed a short putt on 14, the par-five, but I’m pretty happy with my back nine.”

Fellow Englishwoman Felicity Johnson tied for fourth with Krista Bakker of Finland. Johnson held the outright lead after 14 holes but dropped three strokes coming in.

Johnson said: “I saw I got into a tie for the lead but there were still a lot of holes to play so I didn’t take anything for granted. You are going to make bogeys out there. I’m still in contention for tomorrow. I’m three back and anything can happen in a round of golf. The two tournaments that I’ve won on tour, I’ve won from three back, so I know it’s very possible.”

Meanwhile Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald had the round of the day, a 67, to climb into a tie for sixth alongside Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic and local players Maha Haddioui and Lina Belmati are tied for 26th and 61st respectively.

The fourth round gets under way on the Blue Course at 8am on Sunday, with the leaders teeing off at 9.40am local time.

Round 2 - Suzann Pettersen takes lead in Morocco

April 14, 2017
xSuzann Pettersen of Norway during the second round. Credit: Tristan Jones

Norwegian Suzann Pettersen hit the front at the Lalla Meryem Cup with a second round of one-under-par 71 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat on Friday morning.

At four-under-par, she opened up a two-stroke clubhouse lead ahead of playing partner Georgia Hall, Olivia Cowan, Agathe Sauzon and Yan Liu.

The 36-year-old Solheim Cup star scrambled for her score and said afterwards: “This course is not easy to play from the rough. You’ve really got to hit fairways as the greens are so small and the rough is very unpredictable. I don’t think I’ve had one great lie where you feel that you can control the ball and the spin. I’ll keep hitting fairways and try to hit more greens than I did today.”

Her five birdies came at the second, eighth, 13th, 16th and 17th holes while she dropped shots at the seventh, 11th, 14th and 18th.

“If I was a little bit older I probably would have had a heart attack, because it was up and down, up and down,” she said.

“There are birdies out there, but you don’t have to be much off. A slight mistake and the bogeys are very easy to make. It was not my best from tee to green so I have a job to do, but I’ll look forward to the weekend. If you hit fairways and greens I think you can shoot low around this place.”

After playing with Georgia Hall for the first time over the opening two rounds, Pettersen commented: “Apart from the fact that I could be her mom, she is a great golfer and I know she is leading the race for Solheim. She would be a great asset to our team. She’s a good ball striker, putts well and it’s good to have some fresh, young blood on this tour.”

Namesake Lydia Hall and Klara Spilkova, who are playing in the same three-ball, were both three-under-par after as many holes as the second round continued under clear blue skies.

Round 1 - Dryburgh leading in Morocco

April 13, 2017
Lalla Meryem Cup: Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland during the first round. Credit: Tristan Jones

Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh opened with a four-under-par 68 to take a one stroke lead at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Rabat, Morocco.

The 23-year-old from Aberdeen had five birdies and one bogey on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam and said that she would go to bed happy knowing that she was ahead of Suzann Pettersen, Nicole Garcia, Klára Spilková and Lydia Hall.

“It’s a very good feeling. I’ll be up early tomorrow and get the ball rolling,” said the second-year Ladies European Tour player. “I just have to do the same thing: play my game, stick to the game plan and one shot at a time. It’s obviously very early in the tournament so I’ll keep patient.”

She picked up birdies on the second, ninth, 11th, 12th and 14th holes, with just a single mistake on the par-4 13th and added: “I played really well and my putting was especially good. I only had 20 putts and I didn’t hit that many greens. I had a couple of up and downs. The greens are immaculate, they are rolling really well and if you hit it on the right line, they will go in.”

Pettersen had a mixed round with seven birdies and four bogeys. After an errant tee shot on the 17th, her ball bounced off a cork tree back into the fairway and she recovered with a par. She then finished with a birdie on the 18th to tie for the clubhouse lead on three-under-par, after a long, straight 280-yard drive.

“Today was a little bit of everything and I’m very glad I managed to put three-under together. I really wasted some shots out there from poor positions in the fairway, so it was a little bit up and down, but I’m happy with the way I scrambled and I managed to put a three-under together.

“The greens are rolling very pure. They are very true, so whatever you see is what they do. It’s great to be here in Morocco. It’s my first time, I want to say. I was in Marrakech 20 years ago but I can’t remember much. It’s great to be here to support the tournament. Another day tomorrow and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Spilkova and Hall, who played in the same group, set the pace earlier in the day. Spilková is playing in her first LET tournament of the season and she said: “It was a really relaxed round and I only hit 10 greens, but I had 24 putts, so that helps. I had two chip-ins as well, on the last hole, the ninth and on the par-3 fourth.

“I just took a month’s rest, doing some boxing and then practising in Thailand for two weeks and I went to the LETAS event in Terre Blanche and finished really well. I was a little bit nervous on the first day I arrived here, but it’s great to be back. It’s the start of the season and I feel like, ‘let’s do it’ and I’m really motivated.”

Hall added: “At the start of the day I would have taken three-under, but I’m a little disappointed to have bogeyed the last hole. Klara and I both had 69 and kept spurring each other on.”

Moroccan Olympian Haddioui is tied for sixth with eight other players on two-under-par. She said: “I’m happy to start with this score. There was a lot of pressure and I’m expecting a lot from myself this week.”

She explained that the experience of playing with His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid in the Pro-Am helped her to cope with the added scrutiny of playing on home soil.

Meanwhile, the leading women’s score of four-under-par was one stroke better than the top score held by five male players, Lucas Bjerregaard, Gregory Havret, Gary Stal, James Morrison and Edoardo Molinari, in the Trophée Hassan II being played on the neighbouring Red course.

Scores

Pos Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Score Prize Money
1 Klara SPILKOVA 69 74 71 66 -8 280 € 67,500.00
2 Suzann PETTERSEN 69 71 70 71 -7 281 € 40,500.00
3 Annabel DIMMOCK 70 69 73 70 -6 282 € 27,000.00
T4 Georgia HALL 71 71 76 66 -4 284 € 18,225.00
T4 Felicity JOHNSON 70 71 72 71 -4 284 € 18,225.00
6 Karolin LAMPERT 71 73 71 70 -3 285 € 13,950.00
7 Noora TAMMINEN 70 73 72 71 -2 286 € 12,600.00
T8 Nuria ITURRIOS 72 73 72 70 -1 287 € 10,800.00
T8 Agathe SAUZON 72 70 74 71 -1 287 € 10,800.00
T8 Carly BOOTH 75 70 71 71 -1 287 € 10,800.00
T11 Marta SANZ BARRIO 72 75 73 68 E 288 € 9,450.00
T11 Jenny HAGLUND 72 77 70 69 E 288 € 9,450.00
T11 Olivia COWAN 73 69 74 72 E 288 € 9,450.00
T14 Ariane PROVOT 70 77 73 69 1 289 € 7,785.00
T14 Nanna Koerstz MADSEN 70 76 74 69 1 289 € 7,785.00
T14 Inci MEHMET 73 75 71 70 1 289 € 7,785.00
T14 Yan LIU 70 72 73 74 1 289 € 7,785.00
T14 Lydia HALL 69 68 74 78 1 289 € 7,785.00
T19 Camilla LENNARTH 73 74 70 73 2 290 € 6,862.50
T19 Kelsey MACDONALD 74 73 67 76 2 290 € 6,862.50
T21 Gwladys NOCERA 74 73 74 70 3 291 € 6,187.50
T21 Ana MENENDEZ 77 71 73 70 3 291 € 6,187.50
T21 Hannah BURKE 74 69 75 73 3 291 € 6,187.50
T21 Gemma DRYBURGH 68 76 72 75 3 291 € 6,187.50
T25 Emma NILSSON 74 72 74 72 4 292 € 5,152.50
T25 Meghan MACLAREN 75 70 76 71 4 292 € 5,152.50
T25 Anne VAN DAM 71 72 78 71 4 292 € 5,152.50
T25 Krista BAKKER 72 71 70 79 4 292 € 5,152.50
T29 Titiya PLUCKSATAPORN 74 71 75 73 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Nicole GARCIA 69 76 75 73 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Maha HADDIOUI 70 76 74 73 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Supamas SANGCHAN 74 72 73 74 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Diana LUNA 73 74 75 71 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Pamela PRETSWELL 74 74 70 75 5 293 € 4,252.50
T29 Wenbo LIU 73 76 74 70 5 293
T36 Isi GABSA 72 77 71 74 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Leticia RAS-ANDERICA 77 69 75 73 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Vani KAPOOR 75 71 73 75 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Chloe LEURQUIN 71 72 79 72 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Stacy Lee BREGMAN 73 73 72 76 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Liz YOUNG 71 78 74 71 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Emily Kristine PEDERSEN 70 76 78 70 6 294 € 3,296.25
T36 Sophie WALKER 75 73 76 70 6 294 € 3,296.25
T44 Andrea WONG 76 72 72 75 7 295 € 2,565.00
T44 Patricia SANZ BARRIO 72 74 73 76 7 295 € 2,565.00
T44 Anaelle CARNET 76 72 75 72 7 295 € 2,565.00
T44 Tonje DAFFINRUD 79 70 74 72 7 295 € 2,565.00
T48 Sophie GIQUEL-BETTAN 73 73 75 75 8 296 € 2,295.00
T48 Sarah SCHOBER 76 71 78 71 8 296 € 2,295.00
T50 Valdis Thora JONSDOTTIR 76 71 73 77 9 297 € 2,025.00
T50 Silvia BANON 70 76 75 76 9 297 € 2,025.00
T50 Sanna NUUTINEN 76 73 73 75 9 297 € 2,025.00
T50 Isabelle BOINEAU 74 73 78 72 9 297 € 2,025.00
54 Michele THOMSON 75 70 82 72 11 299 € 1,800.00
T55 Laura JANSONE 73 76 76 75 12 300 € 1,620.00
T55 Sophie SANDOLO 77 72 78 73 12 300 € 1,620.00
T55 Christine WOLF 74 75 79 72 12 300 € 1,620.00
58 Marianne SKARPNORD 79 70 76 76 13 301 € 1,485.00
59 Lucy GODDARD 72 77 78 75 14 302 € 1,440.00
60 Charlotte THOMPSON 76 73 83 72 16 304 € 1,395.00
T61 Connie CHEN 73 76 79 77 17 305 € 1,350.00
T61 Lina BELMATI 75 74 80 76 17 305
63 Lina BOQVIST 74 75 81 76 18 306 € 1,305.00
CUT
T64 Kiran MATHARU 77 73 6 150
T64 Becky BREWERTON 74 76 6 150
T64 Luna SOBRON 76 74 6 150
T64 Lauren HORSFORD 75 75 6 150
T64 Jessica KARLSSON 78 72 6 150
T64 Ann-Kathrin LINDNER 75 75 6 150
T70 Florentyna PARKER 78 73 7 151
T70 Trish JOHNSON 72 79 7 151
T70 Anne-Lise CAUDAL 73 78 7 151
T70 Isabella RAMSAY 72 79 7 151
T70 Laurette MARITZ 80 71 7 151
T70 Emilie ALONSO 73 78 7 151
T76 Lauren TAYLOR 75 77 8 152
T76 Mireia PRAT 78 74 8 152
T76 Jade SCHAEFFER 76 76 8 152
T76 Cathryn BRISTOW 75 77 8 152
T76 Valentine DERREY 72 80 8 152
T76 Elia FOLCH 76 76 8 152
T76 Justine DREHER 77 75 8 152
T76 Whitney HILLIER 74 78 8 152
T76 Vikki LAING 74 78 8 152
T85 Madelene STAVNAR 79 74 9 153
T85 Cajsa PERSSON 79 74 9 153
T85 Linda WESSBERG 80 73 9 153
T88 Johanna GUSTAVSSON 81 73 10 154
T88 Elina NUMMENPAA 77 77 10 154
T88 Veronica ZORZI 80 74 10 154
T88 Heather MACRAE 76 78 10 154
T88 Amy BOULDEN 75 79 10 154
T88 Noemi JIMENEZ MARTIN 79 75 10 154
T88 Victoria LOVELADY 78 76 10 154
T95 Laura DAVIES 76 79 11 155
T95 Frida GUSTAFSSON SPANG 78 77 11 155
T95 Oona VARTIAINEN 82 73 11 155
T95 Ainil BAKAR 80 75 11 155
T95 Stefania AVANZO 71 84 11 155
T95 Fabienne IN-ALBON 79 76 11 155
T95 Angella THEN 77 78 11 155
T102 Giulia SERGAS 79 77 12 156
T102 Celina YUAN 79 77 12 156
T102 Caroline MARTENS 74 82 12 156
T102 Amandeep DRALL 80 76 12 156
T102 Manon DE ROEY 76 80 12 156
T102 Minea BLOMQVIST 79 77 12 156
T108 Stacey PETERS 79 78 13 157
T108 Margherita RIGON 79 78 13 157
T108 Eleanor GIVENS 78 79 13 157
T108 Eva GILLY 80 77 13 157
T112 Kylie HENRY 78 80 14 158
T112 Saaniya SHARMA 80 78 14 158
T112 Neha TRIPATHI 78 80 14 158
T112 Alexandra BONETTI 75 83 14 158
T112 Sally WATSON 81 77 14 158
T112 Ines LESCUDIER 82 76 14 158
T118 Natalia ESCURIOLA MARTINEZ 76 83 15 159
T118 Lucie ANDRE 78 81 15 159
T118 Lucrezia COLOMBOTTO ROSSO 82 77 15 159
T121 Rebecca HUDSON 80 80 16 160
T121 Gabriella COWLEY 76 84 16 160
T121 Camille CHEVALIER 77 83 16 160
124 Rosie DAVIES 82 81 19 163
Withdrawn Players
Sarah KEMP 80 E
Melanie MAETZLER 80 E

Preview

DATES: April 13-16
SITE: Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco
PRIZE MONEY: €450,000
Click here for tournament stats & info




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