Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Gustafson claims fourth Irish Open

Sophie Gustafson

Sophie Gustafson shot a superb final-round 66 to win a thrilling AIB Ladies Irish Open by a single shot at Killeen Castle.

The Swede took advantage of perfect scoring conditions to finish the tournament on 12 under par and edge ahead of Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and South Korean Kim In-kyung.

Victory enhanced the 36-year-old's prospects of returning to Killeen Castle next September as part of Europe's Solheim Cup Team. It is the fourth time Gustafson has won the Irish Open and sixth success overall on Irish soil.

"I love Ireland. This is my sixth win in Ireland if you count the time I won in Northern Ireland in 2003 and at the World Cup in 2000," said Gustafson, who claimed the 75,000 euro first prize.

"I think maybe it's the people. They are all very friendly and easy going and they have always been very supportive of me."

Gustafson's birdie on the final hole proved crucial with Kim, playing in the group behind, unable to match it to force a play-off.

"Being able to make that putt was fantastic because I've been struggling with my putting, so that was very, very nice," Gustafson added.

"I think I've been playing better than my recent results have shown, so that was very pleasing being able to play so well."

England's Melissa Reid finished two shots back after a 66.

Ireland's Rebecca Coakley ended with a 69 for four under par, while England's Georgina Simpson was a shot further back with Welsh duo Becky Morgan and Becky Brewerton both two under for the tournament.

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