Iben Tinning enjoyed the perfect end to her career on Saturday when she won the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, her farewell event on the Ladies European Tour.
She earned a two stroke victory over Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, with Melissa Reid a stroke further back in third place. Tinning earned a first prize of €75,000 and was presented with her trophy by HRH Princess Haya, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tinning, who has a hip injury, signed off with a round of three-under par 69 for a total of 277, 11-under par. She now hopes to spend more time at home with her husband and four-and-a-half year old son, Mads.
Tied for the lead with Melissa Reid overnight, she held her nerve under intense pressure to post just one bogey and four birdies on the final day, holing a 20-foot birdie putt on the last hole.
“It is going through my head now but I still can't believe I won and it's just amazing. I really tried to keep strong out there and it was tough sometimes but I cannot believe this,” said the 2005 European No.1 from Denmark, who had her husband Lasse on caddie duties.
“I really didn't think I had it in the bag until I got to 18. Obviously when I hit the third shot and it was close, I knew this is really good and that that would put some pressure on Mel, as well.”
Reid broke away from the pack with two birdies in her first eight holes but dropped a shot at the ninth and was tied with Tinning at the turn.
There was a two shot swing at the 10th which Tinning birdied and Reid bogeyed and then Tinning pulled two clear with another birdie on the par-three 11th. Reid birdied the 13th and Tinning bogeyed the 15th but the Dane was still a stroke ahead with a hole to play.
Reid found trouble from the tee on 18 and could only lay up to the fairway short of the lake. Her third shot came to rest near a drain resulting in a bogey. Sweden’s Nordqvist, who had a clean card with two birdies, moved up to second place.
Tinning, who now hopes to study for a diploma in psychotherapy, kept calm through breathing techniques and held her emotions in check until her English coach, James Petts, ran on to the green to congratulate her.
“When my coach came in, he started crying and then I started crying and it was just unbearable. You know, I was really happy that they took the time because I could breathe a little bit and try to calm myself,” she said.
She had banned her coach from coming on the course. “I told my coach, you can't come out. Because he came out yesterday on 8 and 9 and I made two bogeys, I told him: ‘You jinxed me.’ He said, ‘I've been here for ten years, I want to watch,’ and I said, ‘sorry, stay in there.’”
Although the six-time tournament winner is retiring, she plans to return to competitive action to represent Denmark at the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup in Spain, which is a team event as a one-off.
Lee-Anne Pace, who was leading the race for the LET’s Henderson Money List title coming into the event, held off England’s Laura Davies to become the first South African to be crowned European No.1 on the Ladies European Tour.
South Korean In-Kyung Kim, the winner of last year’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters missed out on a successful title defence but won the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year award as the leading first year member of the Ladies European Tour.