The English golfer Melissa Reid has shown her class (which has taken her to the Solheim Cup, being held next week) by winning the Women’s Spanish Open in a thrilling edition marked by uncertainty until the very end. Reid was just one stroke clear of Spain’s Tania Elósegui and Lee-Anne Pace, from South Africa.
Melissa Reid successfully faced the technical difficulties of the course at La Quinta Golf, the hot weather, and the large number of rivals who wanted to lift the trophy. All in all, the tournament was decided by subtle differences, an endurance test where the English woman showed how well she can put up with pressure and avoid making mistakes.
Having won the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open and the Deloitte Ladies Open in the Netherlands before coming to Spain (plus two second and two third places this season), Reid showed how to go through difficult situations in an event marked by excitement. With four holes to go, up to ten players had chances to win the competition.
The denouement came in the final hole –a sort of grand finale with spectators watching in awe as all of Melissa’s rivals missed their shots (some more spectacularly than others). Some had to use the putter as many as three times; so nervous were they.
This happened to Diana Luna, Verónica Zorzi, Carin Koch, Carlota Ciganda and, more importantly, Lee-Anne Pace, who with an eight under par bogey the hole and missed the chance for a playoff with Melissa. The British girl, traditional and practical, finished the game in a simple style.
But before the denouement, the game was a rollercoaster, with general standings changing by the minute. Tania Elósegui fought bravely for victory too, performing excellently throughout the week (except on day 3), especially at hole 13 (quadruple bogey), which became her enemy in the final round. She made her only mistake there, with a bogey that could have given her, like Pace, the chance of a playoff.
Among Spanish players, Carlota Ciganda, from Navarra, was in the lead until the final round, when she bogeyed hole 18 and dropped to tenth. Ciganda played a solid game, on her way to the PGA Tour’s qualifying school in ten days’ time.
Laura Cabanillas, who finished 11th, was an even player throughout the tournament, whereas Emma Cabrera (21st) and Raquel Carriedo (27th) showed they have a long a way to go, and amateur golfers Teresa Caballer and Mireia Prat lived up to expectations. All in all, the Women’s Spanish Open was the perfect birthday present for winner Melissa Reid to give herself. Congratulations for your brilliant career and happy birthday, Melissa!