Even for non golf fans day two of the Tenerife Ladies Match Play tournament proved a gripping cliffhanger with Becky Brewerton and Laura Davies, two of Britain’s top golfers, tied after 18 holes and onlookers holding their breath as they waited to see who would prevail.
For 2011, this prestigious addition to the Ladies European Tour moved from last year’s course at Buenavista Golf, beautiful but remote, to the stunning greens of Golf Las Américas where a birdie on the course could just as well mean a swan or an emu as much as playing a hole in one under par.
The Tenerife Ladies Match Play teed off on Thursday with a pro-am tournament which, apart from being fun, allowed the 32 professional golfers to get a lay of the land. Their comments should have Golf Las Américas preening proud as peacocks.
“I like the course. You can hit a lot of drivers out there and there are tiny greens, which I love, because that’s good for the better players,’ commented one of the tournament favourites Becky Brewerton whilst Beth Allen remarked: ‘It’s in really good condition, so I’m impressed. I like it.”
Day one of the Match Play tournament saw last year’s winner Trish Johnson knocked out in the unforgiving but exciting matchplay format which sees golfers go head to head in a winner takes all competition. The knock out format was generally given the thumbs up by Europe’s lady golfers who seemed to think it as exciting as us onlookers.
Day 2 of the event drew a juicy head to head battle between Becky Brewerton and Laura Davies, both of whom were tipped as having a good chance of winning the competition. It was a pairing that didn’t disappoint as the 18th hole came and went with both players all square. The exciting play off saw Becky Brewerton show nerves of steel as she pulled off a 12 foot birdie to progress to the next round.
On the final day of the Tenerife Ladies Match Play tournament the eight remaining players – Becky Brewerton (Wales), Carlota Ciganda (Spain), Nikki Garrett (Australia), Rebecca Hudson (England), Lydia Hall (Wales), Lee-Ann Pace (South Africa), Frances Bondad (Australia) and Danielle Montgomery (England) – took to the greens on a beautifully sunny Las Américas morning to compete for the glory and €40,000 first place reward.
Becky Brewerton continued to show the form that had taken her through to the final by leading the field by hitting an impressive 3 under after 7 holes with Spain’s young prodigy Carlota Ciganda (in her first pro tournament), Lydia Hall and Nikki Garrett hot on her heels at 1 under par.
By the 17th hole the tension reached nail biting levels with Becky still holding onto the lead at 3 under but with both Rebecca Hudson and Nikki Garrett breathing down her neck at 2 under par.
With the pressure on, Becky kept her cool to hole a birdie on the 18th and finish 4 under. After that all she could do was watch from the sidelines as Nicky Garrett and Carlota Ciganda closed the gap by going 3 under at the 16th and 17th respectively to set up the tensest of finishes to what had been an outstanding tournament.
However, Ciganda putting a ball into the water at the 18th ended the young Spanish player’s chances of catching Becky, leaving Australia’s Nicky Garrett as the only serious threat.
But the birdie required to tie the match proved too elusive resulting in Becky Brewerton being the deserved winner of the Tenerife Ladies Match Play tournament.
Congratulations to Becky and everyone involved with what has been an outstanding tournament in every way.