Photograph courtesy of Golf NSW
On a final day where the tournament lead changed hands on several occasions, it was Norway's Marianne Skaprnord who broke through for victory today at Bonville Golf Resort at the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic.
At the start of the day Swede Madelene Sagstrom had held a one-shot lead over the trio of Aussie Hannah Green, Spaniard Nuria Itturios and Skarpnord, with Sydney amateur Doey Choi a further shot back.
After Sagstrom made a double-bogey at the long par-3 3rd hole this morning, the Swede found herself in a six-way tie for the lead at -4, after Skarpnord had made a bogey at the opening hole, Green had made a bogey at the third and compatriots Daniela Holmqvist and Jenny Haglund were setting the course on fire having started the final round 4-shots adrift.
Sagstrom would make a double -bogey at the par 5 8th hole which ended her title hopes.
Meanwhile, it was Skarpnord who made the first break away from the pack at -4 with a birdie on the 7th hole to get to -5, closely followed by Choi after a birdie at the 9th hole and then Haglund who made yet another birdie at the 10th hole.
However, the three-way tie at the top did not last for long after Doey Choi punched a putt home from 5 metres at the 10th hole to get to -7 and find herself alone in the lead with just 8 holes to go.
Aussie Hannah Green's hopes of a maiden professional title on home soil looked dashed after a double-bogey at the 7th hole saw her fall 4 shots from the lead, but as we have come to expect from the West Australian, Green bounced straight back with birdies at the 8th and 9th holes to keep her in contention.
The next move was made Skarpnord, who had bounced back from her opening bogey with birdies at the 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th holes to herself move into the outright lead at -8. Skarpnord has been in solid form so far in 2019, the Norwegian finished 2nd in the Ladies European Tour event in Abu Dhabi in mid-January, and followed that up with a win at the Ballarat Icons ALPG Pro-am in early February and a tie for 10th place at the ISPS Handa Vic Open the following week.
Just when it looked like being a two-horse race to the title, Skarpnord and Choi both faltered, Skarpnord missing a par putt from just over a metre at the 13th hole and Choi making a double-bogey 7 at the 14th hole after flying the green into a penalty area with her approach shot on the par 5.
In the meantime, Haglund and Itturios both made birdies at the par 5 14th to draw within a shot of the lead held by Skarpnord, as did Hannah Green, and despite her struggles was back to within 2 shots of the lead.
Skarpnord headed to the 16th tee with a one-shot lead with three holes to play but a wayward drive resulted in a bogey at the toughest hole on the golf course.
As Skarpnord was holing out on 16 for bogey, Doey Choi was teeing off the 17th tee not aware that she actually in a tie for the lead, but ruined any chance of a fairytale victory dumping her tee-shot into the water at the front of the green resulting in a bogey.
Skarpnord's bogey and Choi's misfortune on 17 meant that there were two players now tied for the lead, being Skarpnord and Iturrios who had been quietly been plotting her way around the back nine to stay in contention.
Skarpnord stepped up onto the 17th tee and hit a superb tee shot on the par 3 17th hole straight over the pin to 4 metres, and as Itturios was driving into trouble on the 18th hole the Norwegian calmly rolled in her birdie putt meaning she would take a one shot lead to the 18th tee.
The 33-year-old was not about to hold back and hit what was probably the longest drive of the week down the par 5 18th hole, meaning she would be left with just a mid-iron in for her second shot.
In the group in front Itturios was making a mess of the 18th hole after finding the trees off the tee and did well to salvage her par to finish at -6 for the tournament.
It was time for 2015 Vic Open champion and 3-time winner on the LET to stand up and produce under pressure and that she did, safely finding the green in two leaving her an eagle putt.
With Skarpnord's playing partner Green being able to make no better than a birdie Skarpnord lipped out her effort from long range leaving her a tap-in for the victory.
Iturrios and Green finished tied for second place at -6 Doey Choi finished in a tie for fourth place with Daniela Holmqvist at -4 with Madelene Sagstrom and Jenny Haglund finished tied for sixth place at -3.
For final results and prizemoney click HERE
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