(Algarve, Portugal – June 26 2005) Cecilia Ekelundh from Sweden successfully defended her title to make it back-to-back victories at the €300, 000 Algarve Ladies Open of Portugal.

Cecilia on the 18th green

“If I’d holed that chip it would have been a done deal,” said Ekelundh, adding “because I thought Gwladys was at minus three coming up the last and I know that miracle shots can happen. I wasn’t sure I had it until she went into the greenside bunker at the last.

“To finally do this after a first round of 77 and to successfully defend my title for the first time is just an amazing feeling.

“I almost gave up after the first day and I was just trying to make the cut at that point. I made a triple bogey at the third and I made two bogeys on my last two holes just because I wanted to get into the clubhouse so quickly. But I said to myself if I hang on in there I could be okay and here I am.”

With her second professional victory under her belt, Ekelundh is now feeling confident about the rest of the year.

After spending five weeks away from home early in the season, she took two weeks to go back to basics with her swing after the Tenerife Ladies Open and now finds that she is reaping the rewards.

“After being away from home for so long, I felt like I had to work on my technique because I was getting quite wide off the tee,” she admitted.

“For a couple of tournaments I was just working on my technique and my aim was to be back on form by the time of the Arras Open de France Dames. I guess it came at the right time this week, so I’m glad I did it.”

This is the first week that Ekelundh is playing with a brand new set of Mizuno clubs, although she played with her new driver for the first time in Italy. She changed the shaft to a softer shaft, added a five-wood and three-wood in France and then finally used the MX23 irons for the first time this week.