Laura Davies poses with her trophy at Golfpark Gut Häusern, with an AUDI A5, which was also presented to her for winning the tournament, in the background
Munich, Germany, Sunday 16th May 2010 — England’s Laura Davies defied tough, windy and cold conditions, to fire a closing four-under-par 68 and claim her 74th career victory at the UniCredit Ladies German Open, presented by Audi, in Munich.
Davies, 46, shot 10-under-par over the final two rounds at Golfpark Gut Häusern and came from nine strokes behind after Friday’s second round.
She finished with an 11-under 277 total, two ahead of compatriot Melissa Reid (73) and three ahead of third round leader Ashleigh Simon of South Africa (75). Australian Karen Lunn took outright fourth after a 69 and finished one stroke back, with Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson (71), Denmark’s Iben Tinning (71) and Sweden’s Linda Wessberg (75) sharing fifth.
It was Davies’ 41st Ladies European Tour victory following her win at the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open in February, when she became the Tour’s oldest ever winner. The last time she played in Germany was in 1992 when she won the European Ladies’ Open at Golf Club Beuerberg and she fancied her chances as soon as she saw the course.
“A couple of players had said to me, ‘Go to Germany, you’re going to love it’, and they were spot on,” said Davies. “I love playing golf courses which allow me to have fun and use my driver and cut some corners. This is built for me. I think the architect had me in mind.”
The four-time major champion started the day four shots behind Simon, but said that the key was that she didn’t have a bogey all weekend: “I had four birdies and I didn’t have a bogey on the weekend and that’s always a good thing.”
|Laura Davies teeing her ball up on a piece of turf, created by smacking a sand wedge into the ground. Davies doesn’t use tees as she says she is ‘saving the planet.’|
She was off to a flying start when she birdied the 311-yard par-four first hole, which was playing down wind. She aimed for the green with her driver and finished pin high, just off the edge.”I started off with that lovely drive down the first and relaxed straight away,” she said. She then drove the green on the 381-yard par-four seventh: “I pitched one up there and nearly holed the putt actually. It was just hanging in for an eagle but then that got my round going, to be honest,” she said.
Davies grabbed a three-way share of the lead after Simon, playing two groups behind, bogeyed the same hole. With her birdie on 17, which was virtually a tap-in, she opened up a two shot lead over Reid.
On her approach to the 17th green, she said: “It was the worst shot I hit all day. It was a wedge that I sort of blocked out to the right, hit on the side of the green and trickled down to five inches. I hit some lovely shots all day and missed the putts and then go and get one lucky like that, so that was nice.”
She later admitted in a television interview that she stood on the 18th fairway, which is a 519-yard par-five, with a seven-iron in her hand, thinking “please don’t shank it,” and hit a beautiful third shot to within 12 feet of the flag. She took a par but Reid was unable to birdie the last two holes meaning Davies took the title, the €49,500 first prize and a convertible AUDI A5.
Davies loves her cars and had earlier joked that she was going to drive off in the AUDI R8 Spider that she had been given to drive for the week so she was “over the moon.” She was also delighted to extend her lead at the top of the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List.
“That’s the key for these four weeks that I’m playing: I want to have a good run and try to establish a good position on the (Henderson) Money List,” she said. She has now earned €132,980 form five events and is approximately €57,000 ahead of second placed Reid.
Having fallen just short of back-to-back titles after winning her maiden event last week in Turkey, Reid said: “I’m disappointed. I came here to win. I just didn’t hole anything the last 27 holes.
“Me and Lee, (Griffiths) were just saying we must have missed 15 putts inside 10 feet on the last 27 holes so we missed a lot but fair play to Laura. She played great today in that wind: it’s a really good score.”
After a week off, trying to avoid travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano, the players will reconvene for the next event on the Ladies European Tour schedule, which is the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open at Gray Bear Golf Course in Tále, from 27-30 May.