French woman Caroline Afonso made history in the South of France Friday, becoming the first ever tournament winner on the Ladies European Tour Access Series.
Afonso closed with a final round of two under par 70 for a 54-hole total of five over par 221 on a fine and breezy last day at Terre Blanche near Nice. She posted a two-stroke victory over Italian Sophie Sandolo and Ana Larraneta from Spain, earning a first prize of 3,448 Euros. England’s Holly Aitchison, Jade Schaeffer from France and Italian Margherita Rigon shared fourth place on eight over par.
The victory was Afonso’s first in two seasons as a professional, as she also has a full card on the LET, where her best finish to date was a tie for eighth in 2008 in Austria.
The tricky sloping greens on Le Riou course at the Four Seasons Resort provided a significant challenge for the players and Afonso, who had been working hard on her chipping over the winter, three putted only twice all week, which she believed was the key to her triumph.
She credited her coach of five years, Phillippe Mendiburu, who caddied for her at the tournament and also thanked her fitness coach, Jean-Jacques Rivet, for getting her into shape.
After the successful completion of the first event on the LET Access Series, the next tournament will be the Dinard Ladies Open at Dinard Golf near Rennes in Brittany, North Western France, from 15-17 April.