|Morocco, Saturday 20th March 2010 - Germany’s Anja Monke won her third Ladies European Tour title at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on Saturday, closing with a three under 69 for a one stroke win over Carin Koch of Sweden.
Koch, a stroke ahead of Monke, Vikki Laing and Melissa Reid entering the final round, remained ahead of the field until she dropped shots at the 15th and 17th holes.
Monke, playing in the penultimate group, tied with the Swede at eight-under after she hit a rescue club to three feet at the par-five 16th and rolled in the eagle putt.
With her 54-hole total of eight-under 208 on the Royal Golf Anfa Mohammédia course, she added the title to her wins at the 2008 Open de France and Dubai Ladies Masters.
Koch carded a 71 for her best finish on the LET since the 2004 HP Open in Sweden. France’s Virginie Lagoutte-Clement shot 68 and was a stroke further back in third.
Monke said the win was unexpected because it was her first tournament of the season.
“It is a surprise because I only practised in the winter in snow in Germany. I even practised some bunker shots out of the snow, which is probably unbelievable for you. That’s what I did,” she said.
Monke, who shot 71 and 68 over the first two days of the tournament, struggled over the front nine with two bogeys at the third and eighth holes. She was out in 37 after a birdie at the seventh.
However two birdies at the 10th and 12th, followed by an eagle at the 16th, saw her home in 32 and turned her fortunes around.
At the 16th hole, she almost holed her second shot for an albatross.
“It was a good break for me because before I struggled a little bit and I didn’t play that well, especially on the front nine. Of course if you have a three-footer for eagle it helps,” she said.
“I saw the score board behind it, that I equalled Carin’s result at that time. Of course she still had to play number 16 which is a birdie hole, but I thought, “I am close and we’ll see what we get.” I got it!” she said.
The 32-year-old from Hannover had a 43-footer for birdie at the par-four 18th but missed it by a fraction. “It was a gimme so I wouldn’t say I missed it, I almost made it!” said Monke, who earned a first prize of €41,250.
Like Monke, Koch, 39, from Kungalv, had also been practising in snow and was competing in her first tournament of the season. “I played well today. I hit 16 greens and only missed two towards the end and didn’t get it up and down which maybe shows that my short game wasn’t ready for the pressure. I don’t know. I haven’t been practising more than this last week, really. Overall I played really well and hit some really good drives and very steady.” Koch said.
England’s Henrietta Zuel finished with a 70 to share fourth with Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands (71), who will defend the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup in a month with compatriot Marjet van der Graaff.
Those in joint sixth place were Germany’s Bettina Hauert (67), Lydia Hall from Wales (66), Italy’s Veronica Zorzi (70), Scotland’s Vikki Laing (73) and the English pair of Florentyna Parker (72) and Melissa Reid (73). Boeljon, Hall and Laing all recorded their career best finish in a Ladies European Tour event.