Muirhead Tops Pre-Qualifying at La Manga

Alison Muirhead claimed medallist honours in Pre-Qualifying for the 2020 Ladies European Tour season with a brilliant final round of one-under-par 71 on the South Course for a 72-hole total of 10-under-par at La Manga Club in Cartagena, Spain.

The 21-year-old Dubai-based Scot, who competed in three LETAS events in 2019, ended four strokes ahead of former Solheim Cup player Becky Brewerton, who shot a final round of four-under-par 67 on the North Course.

Muirhead played the front nine in level par and came back in one-under, finishing strongly under pressure with two birdies in her last three holes.

Weather conditions were a little tougher in the morning, starting out fairly cold, followed by a shower, which Muirfield felt affected the ball flight and the roll of the greens.

She said afterwards: “I’m pretty exhausted, but I feel good about my game. I gave myself lots of chances on the course and didn’t hole as many putts today, but I stayed calm and I made a big putt on 16 and then another big putt on 17, so I felt really confident at the end.

“The birdie putt on 16 was around eight feet, but it was a big turning point for me, because I kept having a lot of lip-outs. Then, on the par-3 17th, I hit my 8-iron to around 21 feet and holed a downhill putt, breaking from left to right, so that was big.”

Muirfield said that she would have a small celebration with her mum, Jill and her friends, including her coach, Mark Gregson Walters and caddie, Gavin Tullis, before making a fresh start for the Final Stage.

“I’m feeling really confident going into the next stage and really looking forward to playing next week,” she said.

A total of 63 players at 13-over-par or better advanced and will join the 57 players already exempt to make a field of 120 players at the Final Stage of Qualifying School at La Manga Club, to be played over five rounds from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th January.

After the Final Round, the top five players will be eligible for LET Membership in Category 5c. Players from the 6th to the 20th position will be eligible for Membership in Category 8a. Players who have made the 72-hole cut to the leading 60 and ties and finished in position 21st and below, will be ranked according to score and be eligible for Membership in Category 9b. Players that fail to make the cut after 72 holes, will be eligible for LET membership in Category 12a and will be ranked in final score order.