(Harlech, Wales – Sunday 9th August 2009) — England’s Karen Stupples secured her third professional victory at the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe on Sunday.
The 36-year-old from Deal in Kent secured a one stroke win at Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech, North Wales.
Rounds of 69, 71, 66 and 70 saw her finish at 12-under-par, ahead of the overnight leader, South Korean Amy Yang.
It was Stupples’ first win since the 2004 Women’s British Open at Sunningdale and her third in 11 years as a professional.
In another triumph for mums on tour, Stupples, who has a two-year-old son called Logan James, followed the victory of super mum Catriona Matthew at last week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open.
She felt she had a point to prove having missed seven of 14 cuts this year on the US based LPGA Tour. Her troubles started in March, when she had surgery to remove her appendix and took four weeks off from golf.
“It’s been quite a traumatic year, physically and mentally,” she said. She also had ongoing problems with the veins in her legs, which restricted the amount of time she could spend practising last year.
Her pedigree shone through over the tough, sea-side links course, when she birdied her opening two holes to catch Yang, adding further birdies at the fourth and eighth holes.
Three strokes clear at the turn, she dropped a shot at the tough par-four 10th, but recovered with a birdie on the 13th. Having not won for five years, her nerves started to show over the last few holes and she bogeyed the 16th and 18th; just enough to hang on to the win and the £52,500 first prize.
“I tried to let it go on the last few holes there but fortunately I managed to hold on with all the nails I had,” said Stupples.
“I think the front nine set me off to a fine start. I went off to a really good one and from that point on I sat back I think instead of keeping attacking. It was interesting.”
Having missed out on a wildcard pick for this month’s Solheim Cup, Stupples said she felt a huge weight was lifted from her shoulders.
“I was very, very disappointed at not being in The Solheim Cup. It was always a big goal of mine to be on there and I think to be perfectly honest, I tried too hard to get in.
“I knew I had to impress Alison (Nicholas) to get into the team and I think I was just trying too hard. I’ve come here free of the burden of trying to be selected or trying to prove how good I am or what form I’m in and I think the real Karen Stupples showed up this week.”
Both Stupples and Yang, who carded a final round of 73, will head home to Orlando, Florida, on Monday.
Third placed Katherine Hull of Australia will also fly home after a strong showing. She fired a final round of 69 to finish at nine-under-par and said: “I’m really pleased with the front nine but I couldn’t get anything going on the back so it’s kind of bitter-sweet right now. It’s been fun. Hopefully if the schedule permits next year I’d love to come back.”
Becky Brewerton of Wales carded a final round of 71 and finished at eight-under-par in fourth place, with England’s Melissa Reid and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist a stroke further back in a share of fifth.
With the pressure of trying to qualify for the European Cup team also lifted from her shoulders, Reid produced a final round of 66 and said it was some of her best ever golf.
“I hit it good today. I probably hit it the best I’ve hit it all year today. The pressure is kind of off me now and I just said, “Let’s play golf again.” It’s nice to play well,” she added.
Reid will see a wrist specialist on Monday and may need an operation. She plans to take four weeks away from golf, with the aim of returning for the Vediorbis/Randstad Open de France Dames.