LET Finale with a double Spanish Victory.

 Anne Van Dam from the Netherlands successfully wrapped up 2018 on the Ladies European Tour by claiming her second victory on Spanish soil this season at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino. The powerful hitter, who won the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Sitges two months ago, fired rounds of 68, 67, 66 and 70 for a total of 13-under-par at La Quinta Golf Resort in Benahavís, Marbella.

The 23-year-old from Arnhem had been in possession of a three-stroke lead when darkness forced play to be suspended overnight. She powered into a four-stroke lead following the completion of the third round on Sunday morning, carding three birdies in her last five holes, but then, in the final round, the 2016 and 2017 champion, Azahara Muñoz, did her best to catch her.

Muñoz gave Van Dam a scare when she closed the gap to two strokes courtesy of four birdies in six holes on the back nine, but a double bogey at the short 16th, where she lost her ball down a rocky slope beyond the green, halted her challenge. She took second place at 10-under-par after a final round 69.

It was another brilliant performance from Van Dam, who finished second on the Order of Merit and collected a first prize of 45,000 euros. After a pair of birdies on the fourth and sixth holes, she was six strokes clear at the turn. A run of seven pars on the back nine, followed by just one three-putt bogey on the 17th and a regulation par on the short par-4 18th proved more than enough to earn her third Ladies European Tour title.

She said: “I don’t know what it is about Spain, but I like it. It was tricky weather all week and it was difficult approaching the greens, with the amount of spin I had. Today I hit a lot of good shots on the back nine that flew too far and had no spin, where I left myself some awkward putts. The conditions were not easy but I’m happy with how I played my way around the golf course.”

Van Dam became the only multiple tournament winner on the Ladies European Tour in 2018 and comparing her victories, she said: “I think I was a bit more nervous with this one, coming down the last few holes. In Spain a few months ago, everything was going well. Here, it was a bit more tricky so I had to work harder. It’s a different win, but as good, definitely.”

The 2019 European Solheim Cup captain Matthew, who played with Van Dam for the final two rounds, will be keeping a close eye on her over the next nine months leading up to the next contest at Gleneagles in Scotland. She said: “Obviously there are always a couple of new faces in the team so if she plays well next year she would be a great addition to the team. She does hit the ball miles!”

 

 

Another birdie?