(El Golf Platja de Pals, Costa Brava – September 24, 2005) — Karine Icher of France secured her fifth career victory with a successful defence of her Catalonia Ladies Masters title at the 54-hole Catalonia Ladies Masters in Spain, the final event on the 2005 Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour calendar.

Karine Icher in action

Icher, who is based in Orlando, Florida, earns €34,000 in prize money as well as a scooter courtesy of Yamaha for her victory. She also becomes the fourth player to successfully defend her own title this year on the LET.

In addition to Icher, Cecilia Ekelundh defended her Portuguese title at the Algarve Ladies Open of Portugal, Maria Hjorth carded back-to-back victories at the Ladies English Open and Annika Sörenstam held her Swedish title at the Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika.

Following her final putt she was soaked in champagne by her caddy and fiance Frederic Bonnargent, to whom she is due to be married in December.

“I’m going back to the States tomorrow and we’re planning a small ceremony over there with family,” said Icher, who has spent the majority of the 2005 season competing on the LPGA Tour in America, where she is currently 31st on the Money list.

“It was tough today, as Paula and Sophie both played very well,” she added. “I missed so many putts out there that it was great to make those two vital putts at the last two holes.”

Icher came from two strokes behind to secure the title today. She started the day at seven-under-par but made a fast charge with birdies at the first and second holes to move to nine- under-par. She dropped a shot at the par-four fourth hole when her second shot fell short of the green and she chipped and two putted. But then she birdied the eighth hole, a par-five, with two putts from the edge of the green to move back to nine under par and she made the turn in 34.

Two more birdies at the 12th and 13th holes moved her to eleven-under-par, a shot within reach of Sophie Sandolo, at that time the tournament leader.