Alford's Laura Murray, the longest hitter in the field, produced an eagle 3 when she needed it most on her way to a two-stroke victory in the Paul Lawrie Ladies Tartan Tour's Saltire Energy 36-hole tournament at Murcar Links.

The 25-year-old, who plays out of Paul Lawrie Golf Centre and is sponsored by Saltire Energy supremo Mike Loggie, shot rounds of 73 and 72 for a three-over-par total of 145.

It was Laura's second win on the Paul Lawrie Tour - she led the way home at Ratho Park 12 months ago - but the £2,500 first prize is the biggest payday of her pro career so far.

She did it with her boyfriend, Kippie Lodge pro Keil Beveridge as her caddie, but it was her own strength off the tee, developed in playing alongside male rivals on the North-east Alliance winter circuit, that separated her from the field down the home straight.

Overnight Leaders Emma Fairnie (Gullane) 71, Heather Stirling (unattached) 72 and Lisa Shervill (2-do-Sport) 72 lost three balls between them over the first five holes in the miserable misty and wet conditions that prevailed in the morning.

Murray limited her damage to bogeys at the sixth and seventh and, out in 38, she was level with nine holes to go with Fairnie (out in 40) and Ellon's Michele Thomson (out in 36 after birding the third and fourth) on the 111 mark.

Murray dropped another shot at the 13th but as the sun broke through to burn off the mist so Laura rolled up her sleeves and got an eagle 3 at the 482yd par-5 14th.

"I used a driver and then a three-iron but it was the third shot that was the best one ...I holed a chip from about 40ft!" said Laura.

"I was bunkered at the next to bogey it but I birdied the par-4 17th with a 52 degree wedge approach and a 10ft holed putt."

So Murray came sailing home in 34 for a 72 and 145 while Fairnie took 36 for the second nine for a 76 to be runner-up on 147 for which he earned £1,250.

Thomson's challenge died for lack of a birdie - or eagle! - over the inward half. Instead she bogeyed the 10th, 17th and 18th for 38 home and a 74 for 148.

Stirling's second-round 76 (40-36) enabled her to snatch third place on 148 and a £750 prize from Thomson who three-putted the last and finished joint fourth on 149 with Shervill (77). They both earned £425.

Nobody won the £25,000 hole-in-one prize offered by the Atholl Hotel at the short fifth. Jane Turner (Cragielaw) who finished with a 78 for 152 and seventh place for a £150 reward, also won the £100 Atholl Hotel prize for the nearest-the-pin tee shot on the second day ... about 8ft from the flagstick.

The next Paul Lawrie Ladies Tartan Tour 36-hole event is at Dundonald Links, Ayrshire on Sunday-Monday, June 8 and 9 when the prize fund will again be £6,000.

FINAL TOTALS
Par 142 (2x71) Yardage: White tees 6,200
145 Laura Murray (Paul Lawrie GC) 73 72 (£2,500).
147 Emma Fairnie (Gullane) 71 76 (£1,250)
148 Heather Stirling (unatt) 72 76 (£750).
149 Michele Thomson (unatt) 75 74, Lisa Shervill (2-do-Sport) 72 77 (£425 each).
151 Gemma Webster (Succession Group) 73 78 (£250)
152 Jane Turner (Craigielaw) 78 74 (£150).
156 Katy McNicoll (Carnoustie GL) 78 78 (£100).
159 Emilee Taylor (Holmhall) 79 80 (£80)
166 Jorden Ferrie (Hilton Park) 87 79, Martine Pow (Selkirk) 85 81 (£35 each).
167 Jess Wilcox (Blankney) 81 86
168 Georgina Snow (Turnberry Hotel) 82 86
171 Nicola Ferguson (Milgavie) (am) 84 87
177 Lauren Watson (Deeside) (am) 88 89


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