Danish amateur Nanna Madsen delivered a tournament record equalling nine under par 63 to take a two stroke victory in the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Aicha Tour School Final Qualifying tournament for the 2015 season.
One of the most intense events in golf came to a gripping conclusion on a sun-kissed final day at the stunning Samanah Golf Club, at the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.
After a five-round marathon of golf over the Al Maaden and Samanah courses, 34 players from 17 different countries were eligible for Membership of the Ladies European Tour in Category 8a. The mark fell at 361, one over par.
At the summit, 20-year-old Madsen from Copenagen showed enormous potential as she reeled off 10 birdies and one bogey to finish on a 90-hole total of 343, 17-under-par.
Overnight leader Georgia Hall, who had led since the first round, managed a respectable 71 to end on 15 under in second position, while Germany’s Sophia Popov made a flying start but bogeyed the 18th to drop into outright third.
Madsen said: “It’s really great to win the tour card and I’m really excited to play on the Ladies European Tour next year. It’s been a long week, five rounds, the longest tournament I’ve ever played, but it’s been a pleasure being here in Morocco. It’s been wonderful weather and the golf has been really great. Today I made a lot of putts and hit a lot of great shots. Yesterday I hit a lot of great shots too but the putts didn’t go into the hole.”
The birdies and eagles were flying on the final day and another Danish amateur, Emily Kristine Pedersen, fired a 65 to take fourth spot.
South African Nicole Garcia was fifth, with Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann and Kelsey Macdonald in a tie for sixth. Swedes Louise Stahle and Anjelika Hammar were eighth and ninth respectively.
Morocco’s Maha Haddioui tied for 10th place to regain her full tour card for 2015 and she said: “The job is done, I am in top 30, so I can move on now. There was a lot of pressure today but my game was very consistent during the whole week, except my putting today. But I am in. So I am very happy.”
There is now a seven week hiatus before the 2015 Ladies European Tour season begins with the RACV Ladies Masters in Queensland, Australia, on February 12.