Saturday, May 14, 2016

France’s Marion Duvernay claimed her first LETAS victory at the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio de la Humanidad International Ladies Open at Augas Santas Balneario Golf Resort, Spain after a two-hole play-off against defending champion Michele Thomson from Scotland.
Due to heavy rain, which flooded the course on Friday, the event was reduced to 36 holes. Duvernay started the final round one shot behind leader Sanna Nuutinen from Finland and tied with Thomson and Spain’s Piti Martinez Bernal at 3 under par.
The 26-year-old from Evian-les-Bains birdied the 5th and 7th holes to move to five under and into a tie with Thomson, who shot two under on the opening nine holes. The Scot then moved into the lead with a birdie on the par three 10th but followed with a bogey on the 11th, which Duvernay birdied, to take the lead.
Thomson then bogeyed the 15th to fall two behind the French player. Duvernay, a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, then faltered slightly with bogeys on the 16th and 17th, falling back in to a tie for the lead with Thomson. 
Both players were unable to birdie the final hole, forcing a play-off.
Duvernay and Thomson both made pars on the first play-off hole, the 18th, and it was Duvernay who broke the deadlock with a birdie 3 the second time around.
Duvernay earned 5,640 euros, Thomson 3,890 euros.
The French player has been struggling with her game and her confidence over the last few months and had considered not playing in the event due to another playing commitment but decided to travel to the event with her mother. She was delighted to have finally turned her form around.  
“I’m feeling really, really happy after a few month’s quite down mentally wise. So really happy to see that it’s starting to look good golf wise. It was amazing with my Mum here…we enjoyed the spa a lot, the hotel was great, the breakfast was amazing, and everyone was super nice.”
Five players, Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (67) from Iceland, Italy’s Stefania Avanzo (66), Emile Alonso (65) from France, England’s Emma Goddard (64) and overnight leader Sanna Nuutinen (69) all tied for third place at 3 under par, 133.
The LET Access Series moves to Sweden for next week’s PGA Halmstad Ladies Open at Haverdal, which takes place from the 19th – 21st May. 
Nairn's Kelsey MacDonald finished T23 with a pair of 69s for 138 and earned 560 Euros.
Fife-based Heather Stirling shot 68-72 for 140 and a T32 finished earned her 455 euros.
 Alford's Laura Murray (Kippie Lodge), Jane Turner and Iona Stephen failed to beat the first-round cut with scores of 71, 72 and 76 respectively.