amateur golf
amateur golf
 

LADIES IRISH OPEN
CLEAN SWEEP CARRIEDO - THREE TITLES IN A WEEK



Spain's Raquel Carriedo made a clean sweep of titles as she picked up the 15,000 first prize after a dramatic final day in the Waterford Crystal Ladies Irish Open at Faithlegg GC.

The 30-year-old from Zaragoza fired a second consecutive six under par 66 to
add to her opening 68 to win by one shot with a record equalling total of 200, 16 under par, and wrap of the Evian Tour Order of Merit title with 10,522 points.

The Spaniard made a spectacular final hole birdie to deny a fast charging
Sophie Gustafson, the defending champion from Sweden, who carded an equal
best of the day seven under par 65 for a 15 under total.

England's Laura Davies made her best effort with eight birdies and a bogey in her 65, eventually finishing in a tie for third place alongside Ana Belen Sanchez from Spain another shot back.

And overnight leader Elisabeth Esterl from Germany could not mount the challenge needed to win her maiden Tour event, returning a one under par 71 to finish in fifth place.

Carriedo started the day one shot behind Esterl and soon made her intentions
clear with a birdie at the first when her sand wedge approach fell within inches of the cup.

Further birdies at the fourth and eighth saw her turn in a flawless 31 and into the lead.

But the big hitting Davies was powering her way around the 6001 yard course
with birdies at the opening three holes in search of her first win on Tour since the 1999 Compaq Open.

The former world number one, twice winner of the Irish Open title, dropped a shot at the tricky seventh when she chipped badly, but bounced back with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th to pose a threat.

Gustafson meanwhile was slowly biding her time and when she reached the turn
in 32 with three birdies and a bogey, she was three behind the Spaniard.

But with some dramatic driving and iron play, the 27-year-old from Saro showed why she has won twice this year already on two different Tours, moving into the hunt with a birdie at the 13th, and a spectacular eagle at the 438 yard par five 14th, hitting a nine iron second shot to ten feet.

Carriedo responded with birdies of her own at the 13th and 14th to move to fifteen under and into the lead again.

Davies battled away, adding a birdie at the 14th and in a last ditch attempt to rescue the title, fired a lob wedge into the final hole to 15 feet and drained the putt to move to 14 under.

The Swede then hit top gear with birdies at the 16th, hitting an eight iron to 12 feet and at the 17th, a wedge to nine feet to move into a share of the lead with Carriedo. And at the final hole, Gustafson came so close to leading as her putt from 15 feet burned the lip but stayed out.

With a playoff looking the most likely outcome, Carriedo switched tactics at the 17th and 18th to try and force a final birdie.

At the tricky 17th, the Spanish Solheim Cup star opted for a three wood over the tall trees, instead of the five iron she had been hitting into position all week. Only a par would result, but she took another risk by hitting driver around a huge Oak tree to the 18th fairway, almost knocking her boyfriend, who was stood on the edge of the rough, on the head.

And with an arrow straight wedge, Carriedo hit close enough to tap in for her third win of the year.

"I am so happy right now, especially as I had my boyfriend (Javier Gimenez) here to see me win, " said Carriedo, who tied the best aggregate total for a 54 hole event, held by Trish Johnson and Sofia Grönberg Whitmore.

"It's great to win again so soon, and to win the order of merit is a big deal too - not forgetting the Pro Am on Thursday!" she quipped.

"I knew it was going to be tough coming down the last couple of holes and I was aware of what was going on with Sophie, so I took a risk on the 17th and 18th.

"Normally I hit five iron then five wood into the 17th, but I decided to go for a three wood today and leave myself a shorter shot in.

"And at the 18th, I almost hit my boyfriend on the head! - I hit that drive a long way, it must have been the adrenalin. On the last shot, I was really confident when Andy (Dearden, her caddie) gave me the yardage, I was really comfortable, it was perfect for a little punch wedge, my favourite shot and I was really happy with that."

Gustafson knew she could not take anything away from the Spaniard and congratulated her for her brilliant final shot.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, a great shot from a great player playing at the top of her form," said the Swede.

"I had a good day though, I holed a couple of putts from ten feet at the first two holes, but I lipped out on the third, fourth and fifth. And at the last, I just couldn't believe that it didn't go in, it was so close."

Davies marvelled at the performances in the final round.

"I can't do any more than that," said the 38-year-old from Surrey after her 65.

"I am delighted with the score, but it was disappointing because I played so well today, I made some nice putts but I missed two or three that I really thought I had and that was the difference between winning and losing."

"There was some quality golf out there today, the other girls played so well out there too and I just couldn't do any more than that."

And Esterl, who yet again came so close to her maiden win, offered the perfect reason as to why she was not holding the huge crystal trophy.

"There was no headcover on my putter, that's why it went cold on me - there is always next week though," said Esterl.

 
Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page
   
 
Part of the Golf Today Network