The Ladies European Tour enjoyed a weekend in Spain, as coastal gem Club de Golf Terramar in Sitges hosted the tour for the first edition of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open. On the heels of Sergio Garcia’s masterful Masters win in Augusta earlier this month, golf enjoyed the spotlight in Spain in April.
Solheim Captain Annika Sorenstam was on hand in Sitges, sizing up the potential European players for her 2017 squad, whose singular goal will be bringing the cup back to Europe after the surprising American upset on the final day of the 2015 Solheim at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany.
The first two days featured cool temperatures for the early starters, as low as 7 degrees celcius, and usually windy conditions which picked up into midday. The greens were in excellent condition, running about 12 on the stimp. Moving day featured a strong run by England’s Mel Reid, whose superlative play gave her a 4 shot advantage heading into the final round.
However, it was England’s Florentyna Parker who emerged the winner after a final round with home favorites Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz, Parker, Reid and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist all contending. In the end, it was an extraordinary survival drill for Parker to win the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open. The pressure on Parker was high, knowing that she was not only competing for a win, but also potentially for a spot on Europe’s Solheim Cup team.
“It was fantastic, I’m very happy because winning is always incredible, but more after overcoming players like Anna (Nordqvist), Carlota (Ciganda) or Azahara (Muñoz). I played well not only this last day and the playoff, but also throughout the week. I have not been rushing at any time and I have managed to withstand the pressure, which has been great. ” – Florentyna Parker
Tied with Ciganda and Nordqvist at -15 after eighteen, the competition continued on the 18th for four exhilarating playoff holes. The crowd didn’t get what they wanted when Ciganda missed her putt on the first playoff hole. Carlota left it to Parker and Nordqvist to repeat the journey down the 18th another three times. Parker nearly holed her final approach – the ball rolled just and inch or two to the right of the hole, leaving a three foot putt for the win. This put the pressure on Nordqvist, who knew she had to hole her putt from the back edge of the green. Nordqvist made a great effort, but couldn’t convert her first putt, allowing Parker to emerge as the playoff winner.
1.- Florentyna Parker (Eng) 269 (67 + 70 + 66 + 66) (playoff)
2. Anna Nordqvist (Sue) 269 (66 + 70 + 67 + 66)
+ – Carlota Ciganda (Esp) 269 (72 + 67 + 64 + 66)
4.- Azahara Muñoz (Esp) 270 (69 + 67 + 67 + 67)
5.- Pamela Pretswell (Esc) 272 (68 + 67 + 70 + 67)
Melissa Reid (Eng) 272 (70 + 67 + 62 + 73)