New South Wales’ Karen Lunn finished off in style by sinking a 40 foot eagle putt to record her first major tournament victory in 22 years on home soil when she captured the ActewAGL Royal Canberra Ladies Classic on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour on Sunday.
Lunn, a nine time winner on the Ladies European Tour, including the 1993 Women’s British Open, started the final round with a three shot buffer and posted a final round of three-under par 70. Her card included four birdies, three bogies and an eagle to show the rest of the field how to play the challenging Royal Canberra Ladies Classic.
The 45 year old finished at 12-under-par to finish four shots clear of fast finishing Victorian Vicky Thomas. Thomas carded a five-under par to finish at eight-under par. A further shot behind was England’s Kym Larratt (72) and another Victorian Stacey Keating (69).
Local favourite Nikki Campbell couldn’t get anything going in the last round and finished outright fifth at six-under par.
Lunn, the 2010 Portugal Ladies Open winner was ecstatic with her win: “I’m absolutely thrilled.”
“Every win is very special, but to win a tournament somewhere two hours from where I grew up, a place where I’ve spent a lot of time, my cousin came up and there were loads of people from Cowra in the gallery, so that was really nice and made is more special.”
Lunn clearly had a good day with the putter, holing a number of clutch putts on the front nine, then a 20 foot par save on 15, followed by an eight footer for par on 17 before she topped it off with the “bomb” on the final green.
What made the win even more memorable by was having her sister, a former touring player, now full-time caddie on the bag, Mardi, “It was our first win together so that made today even better”.
Lunn was challenged late in her round, particularly after Thomas made eagle on the 16th to close within two shots, however, Thomas bogied the par 3 17th which saw her challenge falter. She did however ignite the crowd when she holed the same 40 foot putt as Lunn, for a birdie which secured outright second place.
Defending champion Ashley Ona (77) finished tied for 47th, while England’s Laura Davies had her best round of the week, a three-under par 70 to finish tied for 30th. Another notable in the field was young American Jessica Korda she finished tied for 9th at one-under par.
The next stop on the ALPG schedule is the Bing Lee/Samsung Women’s NSW Open which gets underway at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney this coming Friday.