(Rome, June 6 2004) Ana-Belen Sanchez from Spain became the fourth first time winner on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour this season with a deserved, yet narrow victory in the €275,000 BMW Ladies Italian Open.

Eberl – chipped in at 18th

“When I hit my fourth shot, I hit it fat and I was screaming ‘GO’,” explained Sanchez.

“I knew it would be a tricky two-putt and then Martina went and holed her third shot from off the green!”

Eberl had put the pressure on the Spaniard, who must have been thinking if it really was her time to win. But Sanchez, one of Europe’s Solheim Cup heroes of Sweden last year, almost nonchalantly stroked her first putt to the side of the hole, leaving her no more than a tap-in for her maiden win.

“That was definitely the hardest two-putt I have ever had in my life,” admitted the Spaniard.

“Right now, I just can’t describe what I feel….but I think I’m happy!,” she joked.

“I got all the pressure on the 18th again. I was thinking that with a four shot lead, all I needed to do was hit the fairway, lay up, knock my third on and I should be OK. But then I hit it left in the water…it’s my bogey hole!

“Martina played really well all day long and she never gave up.”

Eberl, a former European amateur champion who can always been seen with a huge smile on her face, was delighted both for Sanchez and for her best finish in a two year career.

“After the 13th, I was actually quite calm where normally I’d be furious and when I was coming up to the 17th, my goal was just to finish second on my own,” said Eberl, who picked up €27,912 for her efforts.

“But when I holed the chip, I was counting the scores and I knew Ana had to make a two putt and to be honest, I was happy she did. She really deserved it and it’s about time she had a win and I’m really happy for her.”

Karine Icher from France took third place outright on three under par after a faultless 68 and was showing similar form which earned her three Tour victories as she heads onto home territory for next week’s Ladies French Open in Arras.

Virginie Beauchet from France carded a final round 68 to finish fourth on her own, while Italy’s own Diana Luna finished in fifth place on level par after a disappointing 74 in front of her hometown gallery.