LARVIK, NORWAY (Saturday 4th July 2009) – Italian Diana Luna claimed her second victory inside a week at the SAS Ladies Masters in Norway.
The 26-year-old from Rome, who sealed her second career title in the AIB Ladies Irish Open at Portmarnock Links on Sunday, won again at Larvik Golfklubb on Saturday.
She carded rounds of 67, 70 and 70 for a three-round total of 12-under-par on the par 73 course, finishing one stroke clear of Laura Cabanillas from Spain.
She came from three shots behind the second round leader Veronica Zorzi, also from Italy, a two-time French Open champion who slipped back to 10-under in a share of third with seven other players.
After Zorzi bogeyed the par-five last hole, handing Luna the victory, the champion collapsed to her knees and said: “I cannot believe it,” holding her face in her hands.
She had waited five years to win her second Ladies European Tour title following her maiden triumph at the 2004 Tenerife Ladies Open, only to claim two trophies in seven days.
Luna fired five birdies, four bogeys and an eagle, at the par-five ninth hole, in the final round. She had an eagle chance at the par-five 18th, but three putted for a par.
“It’s incredible because honestly, I really didn’t expect that, especially after three putts on the 18th. I was really sure that I needed a birdie or even an eagle, because there were no leader boards. I didn’t know that she (Zorzi) was 11-under. I thought she was 12-under as well as I was. It was very surprising. I thought I had lost, actually, on 18 when I missed my putt,” she said.
“I was told she was 11-under and I was preparing to go to the playoff so I really didn’t expect that. I did play very well but not as well as yesterday. I made some mistakes and twice made three putts. I had one very bad bogey at 16, which is a par five, so you know what I mean. I didn’t expect that after so many mistakes I could actually win.”
Runner-up Cabanillas, from Malaga, registered her best finish in seven seasons on the LET and said: “I think my mind is clearer these days but my game is the same. I only try to enjoy it and that’s it. It was a great course, in very good condition and it was fun with many par fives.”
After another glorious day of sunshine, the players tied with Zorzi at 10-under were first round leader Lisa Holm Sorensen of Denmark and her compatriot Iben Tinning, Spaniard Tania Elosegui, Australian rookie Stephanie Na, American Beth Allen and the English duo of Felicity Johnson and Samantha Head.
With her €30,000 prize winner’s cheque, Luna moved to the top of the LET’s Henderson Money List and into fifth place on The European Solheim Cup standings, from which the top five will qualify following the Ricoh Women’s British Open in a month’s time.