Matthew sweeps unassailed to victory in the Irish Open
Scotland’s Catriona Matthew led from start to finish to clinch her tenth career title with a final round of 71 in the Ladies’ Irish Open at Killeen Castle near Dublin yesterday.
Matthew, the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion, led by one after an opening 67 and by two after a second round 71, and the closing five-birdie, four-bogey round sealed the win by a shot from Norway’s world No 6, Suzann Pettersen.
Matthew finished on seven under par, with Pettersen shooting a 69 for outright second place. England’s Laura Davies snatched third place on three under following a 68.
Scot Carly Booth, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies’ Open and Swiss Open champion, had been joint-second going into the final 18 holes, but posted a 76 to drop to a tie for seventh on level par. However, it was still another fine result for the Comrie 20-year-old.
But Matthew, ranked 27 in the world, proved that she is still the Scottish No 1. She has now won four European and four US LPGA title plus the 1996 Australian Open and the British Open, which is one of the women’s majors.
The North Berwick 42-year-old relished the prospect of staying at the top of the game in time for golf’s re-entry to the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016.
“Playing in the Olympic Games would certainly be a great addition to my career,” she said after collecting the £44,000 winner’s cheque.
“It was difficult coming back here. There were so many good memories from last year’s Sol-heim Cup win and so it could have gone either way.
“But I think I gained a lot of inspiration from thinking back to the way I played for Europe against the Americans.
“I’m absolutely delighted with another victory. It’s always tough going out in the lead. Today I was trotting along quite nicely and then saw Suzann had started to make a string of birdies. I think she thought she was in the Solheim Cup again.
“But I made a good birdie on 15 and then another one on 17 and that gave me just a little bit of a cushion coming up the last, which was nice.”
Pettersen had won the title in 2008 and 2011, and she had three birdies in a row from the seventh and then more at the 13th, 15th and 16th. But she bogeyed the 17th, allowing Matthew to drop a shot at the last and still win by one.
Booth, who had two birdies in her final round, remains at the top of the ISPS Handa Order of Merit.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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