(Dublin, Ireland - Sunday 13th July 2008) – World number three Suzann Pettersen secured a five shot victory at the AIB Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, on Sunday.
The Norwegian shot a final round five-under-par 67 to finish on an 11-under-par 205 total after three rounds at Portmarnock Links in Dublin.
Marianne Skarpnord, also from Norway, was second on six-under-par, which was her career best finish in four seasons on the Ladies European Tour.
Pettersen began the final round one stroke ahead of New Zealand’s Lynn Brooky but a birdie to the Kiwi’s bogey at the second hole extended her lead to three.
The 27-year-old from Oslo knocked in three birdies on her front nine, with another three on the back nine. She carded just one bogey, at the 341 yard par four 14th hole where she hit her second shot into the front greenside bunker. Of her six birdies, four were on the par fives.
“It was windy and challenging so I’m very happy with my performance,” said Pettersen, who collected a first prize of €67,500 for her ninth career title, following her recent victory at May’s Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open. “The wind was different today which made the course play totally different. It made some of the holes a little harder and the other way round so the par fives were very reachable. I tried to be patient and get my score on the par fives.
“If a birdie drops here or there then that’s a bonus. Today I just tried to get the job done. I tried to get into double figures and I managed to stay there.”
Skarpnord got within one stroke of Pettersen after an eagle at the 460-yard par five 12th hole where she played her approach shot to within 18 inches of the cup. She birdied the third and fourth holes going out, but bogeyed the 17th and 18th for a closing 70.
“Suzann is a great player. She plays so well it’s difficult to beat her. I tried but I didn’t make it,” said Skarpnord. “I’m happy I was so close. It is great for us and great for golf in Norway.”
New Zealand’s Lynn Brooky shot a final round 73 for third place on four-under-par, which was her best finish of the season. Spain’s Tania Elosegui, first round leader Federica Piovano from Italy and Germany’s Martina Eberl shared fourth on three-under-par. U.S. Solheim Cup star Morgan Pressel got the hang of the greens on the final day and shot six birdies for a 66. She shared seventh with Wales’ Becky Brewerton, Spain’s Emma-Cabrera Bello and Sweden’s Maria Hjorth, all on two-under.
Claire Coughlan-Ryan was the best of the two Irish players who made the cut. She holed her second shot for eagle at the second hole and shot 74 for a share of 43rd place.
– but the sailors praise the new boats