Article Courtesy of Ladies European Tour
TICINO, SWITZERLAND (Sunday 17th May 2009) -- Norway's Marianne Skarpnord claimed her first career victory in the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open with a final round of 70 at Golf Gerre Losone on Sunday.
The 23-year-old, starting her fifth season on the Ladies European Tour, collected a €78,750 winner's cheque when her 16-under-par total of 276 left her one stroke clear of England's Melissa Reid, who also shot 70. Australian Karen Lunn (69) finished in third place on 278, 14-under-par, after she chipped in for eagle at the 18th hole.
A third round of 66 on Saturday had given Skarpnord a one-stroke lead entering the final round however it was a day of fluctuating fortunes which came down to the last putt on the final hole.
England's Melissa Reid, who started the day in second on 12-under, grabbed a one shot lead with an eagle at the 469-yard par-three third hole.
Skarpnord birdied the fifth to draw level on 14-under before both players birdied the par-five sixth. With her third birdie in a row at the seventh the Norwegian regained the outright lead. However, she fell one behind after a three-putt bogey at the ninth, where Reid struck an iron to within two feet for a birdie three.
When Reid reached the turn in 32 she was a stroke ahead of the Norwegian, but suddenly her game unraveled as she dropped three shots in as many holes from the 11th.
After a birdie at the 16th, Skarpnord was three ahead, but Reid was back in the hunt after a birdie at the 17th hole.
Both players hit superb second shots to the green on the par-five 18th but it took three putts for Skarpnord to secure the victory.
Reid was forced to settle for her fourth runner-up spot in two seasons but is determined to make her breakthrough soon.
Skarpnord celebrated her win - and Norway's national day - after friends stormed the 18th green and sprayed her with champagne.
"To get a win this early in the season is just great and now I can play Evian," she said.
"Melissa and I both played well. We were even or one shot up, one shot down the whole round. She just missed a few putts around 13, 14, or something. I made a birdie on 16. It was hard work at the end, three putting there. The first putt I didn't think was so fast but it was. I thought it didn't matter if I make it or not, I can just put it close."
With season's earnings of €88,414.68, Skarpnord now leads the LET's official 2009 Henderson Money List and earned 30 Solheim Cup points, taking her to eighth position on the European standings.
The Ladies European Tour now moves to Munich for the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open, presented by Audi, at Golfpark Gut Hausern. Courtesy of the sponsor, Skarpnord was one of the lucky players to be whisked straight to Germany in an Audi Q7.
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