(Golf Gerre Losone, Switzerland – Sunday 25th May 2008) – Suzann Pettersen was crowned Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open champion on Sunday after the fourth and final round of the competition was cancelled due to a water logged course at Golf Gerre Losone.
Tournament organisers took the decision to reduce the event from 72 to 54 holes at 11am on Sunday as many of the fairways and greens were flooded after heavy rainfall, making the course unplayable.
Andy Lott, director of tournament operations, said: “Unfortunately we find the course is unplayable. We have too much water out there to make it safe for people to play and to be fair.”
With the fourth round cancelled, the results at the end of round three were final. Pettersen’s winning total of 194, 22-under-par, broke the Ladies European Tour’s record for the lowest winning 54-hole aggregate. This previously stood at 190 (-17), having been set by French woman Karine Icher at the 2004 Catalonia Ladies Masters. Pettersen revealed that she had been aiming to go much lower than that and beat Laura Davies’ record of 25-under for 72 holes, set at the 1995 Guardian Holidays Irish Open at St Margaret’s.
“I was going to try to get to 30; that was my aim from the last couple of days: get to 30 under so who knows. I would have had to have played really well today if that was the case but I think it was possible,” she said.
“If it’s not playable it’s not playable and there is not much you can do. That’s what happens when you play outdoor sport every now and again. I was kind of looking forward to keeping going, throwing some birdies on the board and seeing how low I could go.”
With the results standing as they were at the end of the third round, Pettersen took her third Ladies European Tour title, and her eighth overall, by a six stroke margin with South Korean teenager Amy Yang in second on 16-under-par. Gwladys Nocera, who broke her own course record with a ten-under 62 in the third round, finished third on 15-under, with Lotta Wahlin three shots further back in fourth.
Pettersen, the world number three, led the way with rounds of 67, 63 and 64 to earn the first prize of €78,500. She dedicated her prize to a 24-year-old family friend who passed away on Monday.
“I would like to dedicate this victory to Karolyn,” said a tearful Pettersen at the prize giving. “She is a dear family friend of ours. We went to see her in the hospital at the end of last week and we pretty much knew she wasn’t going to make it. Of course it’s tough to see a friend of yours like that, who is only 24 years old. She had a blood clot on her leg.”
Pettersen will take increased confidence back to America ahead of her defence of the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in a fortnight.
“I’m really glad McDonalds is only two weeks away. Everything is about trying to prepare for the big ones. I’ve been working hard over the last couple of weeks and now everything is starting to fall together,” she said. “I will bring all the good feelings and the confidence back to the US. I will try to have a good week next week and go into McDonalds with a clean mind and just play my heart out again.”
In finishing second, Yang posted her career best finish since winning the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters as a 16-year-old amateur. She earned €53,287.50 to move into the lead on the New Star Money List and also collected an Omega watch for her hole-in-one at the seventh in the third round.
“Suzann is a great player and with a six shot difference it would have been really difficult to beat her,” said Yang. “I’m a little disappointed but still pretty happy. My putting was better this week so I’m looking forward to next week too.”
Alexandra Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour, added: “I think it’s been a fantastic week of scoring. There are a lot of birdies out there and I think a lot of players would have gone out strong to try and move up the leader board. We can’t help the weather. It is a golf tournament and it is about the golf. ”
Hanns Michael Hölz, head of corporate sports at Deutsche Bank, the title sponsor of the tournament, added: “Normally the Ticino region is known as the sunny terrace of Switzerland but sometimes maybe because of climate change, it has become more like the rain terrace. These things happen. In my view, I think it was a great sports event and we had some spectacular golf.”
Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open
Golf Gerre Losone
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images