Saturday, July 07, 2007




Wales’ Becky Brewerton carded a final round 68 to clinch her maiden career Ladies European Tour victory at the Ladies English Open, in association with Golf Punk, today.
The popular 24-year-old from Abergele mixed five birdies and one bogey for a seven-under-par 209 total and a three shot victory over Sweden’s Linda Wessberg (68), England’s Kirsty Taylor (69) and Karen Stupples (71) at Chart Hills Golf Club in Kent.
Having come close to her first win on numerous previous occasions over the last four years – she has posted 16 top-10 finishes, including four runner-up spots - Brewerton was understandably emotional.
“It means so much to me. I’ve been trying for so long. To finally do it is just unbelievable, unbelievable,” said Brewerton, fighting back tears. “I can’t believe it. I’m just in shock.”
Wales’ top player on the LET began the day in a four-way tie for the lead with Stupples, compatriot Eleanor Pilgrim and Sweden’s Cecilia Ekelundh. She was tied for the lead with Stupples on five-under-par at the turn after a solid outward half of 34 but picked up birdies at holes 10, 12 and 16 to reach eight-under-par with a four-stroke cushion standing on the 18th tee.
Becky, pictured above with the trophy, from the LET website, was able to bogey the last to seal her victory and a first prize of €24,750 and she added: “To have had such a cushion coming up the last was just massive. It was such a good situation to be in. I tried not to think about winning it because the 18th tee shot is not my favourite tee shot. I’ve hit it left the first two days and today I hit it right.
"I thought it would be okay because there’s quite a lot of room out there but it went a bit further than I thought because I was pumped up.”
Brewerton took a penalty drop aside the 18th fairway, where she had a poor lie next to a tree, before hitting her third shot to 20 feet and two putting.
“When I took the penalty drop it was a case of just making it onto the green. I knew then, even if I three-putted I would still win so it was nice to have a tap in there and get it over with!”
Brewerton was then soaked in champagne by her friends Danielle Masters and Lynn Kenny before running into the crowd to celebrate with parents Steve and Paula.
“It was just so good to have my mum and dad here. I always thought they’d be here for my first win. This is only the second event they’ve been to this year,” said Brewerton.
“My mum’s got MS and she’s done so well this week to walk round three rounds.”
Proud dad Steve, who caddied for Brewerton at last year’s event and also when she finished tied for third place in 2005, conceded that her new bagman Fred Collins had brought her better luck. “She held herself together so well today,” said Steve.
“There were a couple of bad holes but I knew she’d recover fantastically; even on the last hole – awesome. To win is just fantastic – it’s all she’s ever wanted to do. Awesome.”
Brewerton moves up one place to sixth on the New Star Money List and jumps from ninth to fourth place in the European Solheim Cup Team qualification list. The top five players following the Wales Ladies Championship in August will face the United States team at Halmstad in September.
“That’s massive. Obviously now it’s getting to a really crucial stage. We’ve got the Evian, the British, Swedish and Wales still left for other people still to get in but I’ve given myself a really good chance now,” said Brewerton.
“If I can come into some good form for those four tournaments that would be amazing but again I’ve got to try so hard not to think about that because it’s just so exciting to be in with a chance.”
Stupples, who was playing in her first tournament since giving birth 10 weeks ago, was pleased with her efforts and said: “This tournament is really two weeks early for me from where I wanted to be fitness wise. I’m so happy. Tied for second – what more could I ask for really?
“I started to really run out of steam once I’d made the turn. It was not so much physically as the mentally that the steam ran out.
“When it came to the crunch, a lack of competition and having plodded my way around a golf course for the last month or so with nothing riding on it took its toll. Really I exceeded any kind of expectations I had for the week and I can only be really happy with what I’ve done.
“It really was the first 18 holes I’d played since November on the first day – I didn’t even get to play 18 holes in the pro-am. And doing it three consecutive days was my concern – and it showed in all fairness.
"Becky played really solidly today – she hit the ball great. And she deserves her first win. She’s a very popular winner.”
England’s Laura Davies and France’s Gwladys Nocera tied for fifth place on three-under-par after they both carded 71s. Davies’ was a mixed bag with a double and two bogeys on the front nine and a birdie and two eagles on the back nine. She was out in 40 and back in 31.
Melissa Reid from the Chevin Club, Derby - winner of the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship at Troon and the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews this year - played exceptionally well to finish in ninth place, a performance which is liable to make up her mind to turn professional at the end of the season rather than wait for another Curtis Cup honour in next summer's match against the Americans over the Old Course, St Andrews.
Par 216 (3 x 72)
209 B Brewerton (Wal) 67 74 68.
212 L Wessberg (Swe) 66 78 68, K Taylor (Eng) 70 73 69, K Stupples (Eng) 71 70 71.
213 L Davies (Eng) 69 73 71, G Nocera (Fra) 70 72 71.
214 M Eberl (Ger) 68 75 71, L Stahle (Swe) 71 72 71.
215 M Reid (Eng) (am) 70 73 72.
216 T Johnson (Eng) 72 76 68, S L Breman (SAf) 77 74 70.
Scots' scores:
224 L Kenny (Archerfield Links) 76 74 74 (jt 45th) (Euros 874).
227 C Queen (Carrick at Cameron House) 73 79 75 (jt58th) (Euros 536).