Scotland’s Solheim Cup star Catriona Matthew fired a final round 70 to secure her second Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open title in three years after a cold and blustery day at Archerfield Links in East Lothian.
The North Berwick local held steady in winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour to post a three-round total of eight-under-par after rounds of 71, 67 and 70. She ended two strokes ahead of England’s Hannah Burke, the only other player under par, on six-under after a final round 68, with fellow Englishwoman Holly Clyburn eight strokes further back on two-over.
The Australians in the field performed very well on the last day. Rebecca Artis moved up 18 places on Sunday by posting an even par 72 in the challenging conditions. Artis finished at four-over-par total and tied for sixth position. It was her best finish this season on tour and her second consecutive top 10 finish. Fellow compatriot Stephanie Na (77) shared sixth position with Artis, which was by far her best reason for 2013.
Stacey Keating, who is the leading Australian on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit, also moved up the leaderboard. Keating posted a final round of 73 to move up from 24th position into a share of 12th position at five-over-par. Nikki Garrett (74) was the only other compatriot to make the cut and finished in tie of 38th position at 10-over-par.
An honorary member at Archerfield, where she practises regularly, Matthew was nonetheless surprised by the unseasonable conditions. “When it’s this windy I normally don’t practice! It was pretty windy out there!” she admitted.
She and husband Graeme, who was back on caddie duties, plotted their way around the course in front of a partisan gallery of home supporters and after sealing the win were greeted on the 18th green by daughters, Katie and Sophie.
“It’s great to win at home. It’s always nice play at home in front of your family and makes it special,”
Matthew, Burke and Clyburn were joined by Scot Heather MacRae and South African Stacy Lee Bregman as the only five players to score under par on the final day.
LET rookie Holly Clyburn, who won the Deloitte Ladies Open champion in the Netherlands three months ago, once again proved an expert in adverse weather conditions while Scots Pamela Pretswell and Carly Booth, the 2012 champion, tied for fourth on three-over-par.
The tour now moves to Sweden for The Helsingbord Open.