England’s Laura Davies successfully defended her Austrian title at Golf Club Fohrenwald in Wiener Neustadt on Sunday.
Davies, who began the final round tied for the lead with Swede Emma Zackrisson, shot a four-under-par 68 in cold conditions to finish on 15-under-par 273, three strokes ahead of compatriot Lisa Hall.
“Four times I’ve been here and four times I’ve been in the presentation. Twice a winner now; it’s good,” said an elated Davies. “The first year I came here I knew I liked the course and I knew I could win and sure enough the last two years obviously I have.”
Davies posted rounds of 71, 67, 67 and 68 to notch her first win since the New South Wales Open in Sydney, Australia, in January. “I love winning and that is what I do this for. It is just fantastic to have won,” she added.
The four-time major champion held the momentum from the start with birdies on the seventh and eighth holes.
Back-to-back bogeys on the 10th and 11th stalled her momentum, but she then hit a superb drive to four feet short of the flag at the 291 yard par four 12th and rolled in the eagle putt to extend her lead.
“The bogeys on 10 and 11 were not unlucky, but silly chips, and I didn’t even birdie nine so I was starting to panic a little bit,” explained the 44-year-old Davies. “We hadn’t seen a score board all day and sure enough I was only one ahead at that point. I hit that driver and it was probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit. I said to Johnnie: “For me, that’s as good as I can do. That was pretty much the time when I really felt comfortable to win.”
In a dramatic finish, Luna aced the par-three 16th hole to pull within one of Davies, who then birdied the same hole, sinking a crucial 12 footer.
“That was huge because, you know, a hole with water on, you can always make a mess of it. I came off with a birdie and had the two shot lead and that gives you a cushion,” said Davies, who finished with a birdie at the par-five last hole. “I know on 18 I’m hitting a seven-iron in there for my second shot so that is a pretty easy hole for me,” she explained.
Davies now hopes to build on her success with further victories and Solheim Cup points.
“I want to get my confidence back; I want to be ready to go again next year and be in The Solheim Cup. That is a big thing for me next year,” she said.
Luna was forced to settle for third place on 11-under-par after she bogeyed 18, but it was her third top-five finish in a row after a tie for fourth in Norway and fifth in Finland.
“I am happy because I had a good round but it hurts a little bit, especially because of the finish. It has been three times now that I have been up there. I will recover soon,” Luna said.
She was able to take some comfort from her third career hole-in-one as she hit a brilliant nine-iron almost straight into the hole on 16 giving herself the choice of a BMWR 1200 motorbike or a Mini One LP as a prize. Luna said that she would consider the choice, although she doesn’t drive a motorbike.
German rookie Denise-Charlotte Becker secured fourth place on ten-under-par, which was her best finish of 16 events this year. Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, Spain’s Carmen Alonso and third round co-leader Zackrisson shared fifth on nine-under-par.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images