|Repeating the story from the first edition, the drama continued on Sunday morning as defending champion Julie Tvede and Carlota Ciganda returned to La Manga Club for the Murcia Ladies Open play-off. But this year, the end of the story changed, as it was Carlota Ciganda’s turn to lift the trophy.|
A total of five play-off holes were needed to determine who would become the 2011 champion. On Saturday afternoon, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Dane Julie Tvede had played the 18th hole twice and both players had birdied this par five both times, when darkness fell and they had to resume on Sunday morning.
When play resumed, both players struggled on the 18th hole. Ciganda found the water hazard short of the green. The 21 year old from Pamplona could only move the ball into the greenside bunker and then failed to get up and down. Julie Tvede had a golden opportunity to win the title but three-putted from 20 feet for a bogey six.
It was proving difficult to separate Ciganda and Tvede: the players now returning to the 17th where they both two putted for a par.
But it was when they played the 18th hole for the fourth time that Ciganda was able to take advantage of her length and learn from her earlier mistake on this hole. The young player, who is one of the longer hitters in women’s golf, hit a rescue into the light rough left of the green. Tvede was unable to reach the green in two and missed her 15 foot birdie putt, leaving Ciganda to hole from three feet for a birdie and become the Murcia Ladies Open champion.
Completing the final scoreboard, Spain’s Maria Beautell finished in third position with a total of 2 under par, followed by young Danish amateur Daisy Nielsen who closed at one under.
The LET Access Series’ next and final stop in 2011 is the Azores Ladies Open, from the 2nd to 4th December at Campo de Batalha on Sao Miguel Island. The current order of merit leader is England’s Henrietta Zuel, closely followed by Dutchwoman Marjet van der Graaff. These two players are well placed to receive the two cards available for the Ladies European Tour next season.
Five other players also in a strong position to earn LET playing rights are Marieke Nivard, Julie Tvede, who jumped from 8th to 4th place on the Order of Merit this week, Julie Maisongrosse, Joanna Klatten and Camille Fallay.