Florentyna Parker showed nerves of steel to win the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open on the fourth play-off hole at Club De Golf Terramar, in Sitges, near Barcelona.
The championship looked to have been sewn up in regulation play when local star Carlota Ciganda fired a sublime wedge to two-feet on the 18th, only for the Spaniard to see the ball lip agonisingly out.
The day should have belonged to Melissa Reid, who slept on a four-shot lead, but the Englishwoman struggled for form and was never really in the mix, eventually signing for a two-over par 72.
Instead the lead swung between Florentyna Parker, Anna Nordqvist, and Spaniard’s Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda, who were cheered on by a large home crowd.
Ciganda delighted the locals with spectacular golf and it appeared destined that the LPGA star should claim victory on home soil, but what looked like a done deal soon turned to heartbreak, and with Parker and Nordqvist both birdieing the final hole, the three players returned to 18 to shoot-off for the championship.
The first play-off saw more drama with all three golfers firing their second shots on the par four to almost equilateral distances around the pin. The Englishwoman was first to go and rolled her eight-footer straight into the middle of the cup, heaping the pressure on Ciganda who, for the second time in less than twenty minutes, failed to drain her putt.
With Nordqvist making birdie, the Spaniard was eliminated and the two remaining players headed back to 18 yet again.
World No. 10 Nordqvist showed why she was the top-ranked player in the field as the Swede continued to fire the ball close, but try as she may the ball refused to drop and after missing a ten-footer for the championship at the third play-off hole, it seemed increasingly as if it was going to be Parker’s championship.
It would take the shot of the day to decide the tournament, with Parker almost holing her approach at the fourth time of asking, leaving a mere two-footer to claim her third Ladies European Tour title.
‘I said at the start of the week that I needed to win this championship if I was to earn a place in the Solheim Cup squad, and that’s what I’ve done,’ said Parker, who came into the event one off the automatic places in the Solheim Cup points list.
‘I can’t believe that I beat two of the best players on the LPGA. I desperately want to be in the Solheim squad come August, and I proved today that I can compete with the very best.’
It was a good day for the Brits with Scot Pamela Pretswell carding a final round four-under-par 67 to finish in T5 alongside Reid, while England’s Holly Clyburn finished one shot further back in 7th.
ECCO Golf Launch 2017 Ladies Collection. Read More