LETAS final at Stoke by Nayland ends with exciting play off
Manon from heaven
Belgian ends her three year victory famine
Manon de Roey ended a three-year quest for her first tournament victory as a professional by winning the 6th WPGA International Challenge to be held at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa on Saturday. But in doing so, the 26-year-old from Belgium had to survive a searching examination from Lydia Hall, the defending champion.
All of which resulted in the two engaging in an enthralling duel in the Suffolk sunshine in front of a good crowd who had followed this close match. Hall had won the tournament at the same venue 12 months beforehand by prevailing in a sudden death play-off against Ines Lescudier of France. So there was an unmistakeable sense of déjà vu after Hall birdied the par-three 18th on the Gainsborough course to tie the 54-hole scores at 11-under.
Back up the 18th they went but this time there was to be no happy ending for the 30-year-old from Wales. The confidence she displayed in sinking the putt that forced the play-off seemed to evaporate as she missed a much shorter one for par.
De Roey, by contrast, held her nerve to hole from a metre and claim the €5,600 first prize and, more importantly, that hitherto elusive first tournament triumph.
“I was a little nervous over the last two holes,” she said. “I was actually less nervous on the play-off hole than I had been on the last actual holes. “I just had to play my own game – I was bogey-free which was good. “I’ve been playing well for the past couple of weeks so it was just a matter of it coming all together and this week it did. “Lydia made me work for it, which is how it should be. It was a great match.”
The family-owned Stoke by Nayland resort was the only UK venue on the LETAS schedule this year, and is a firm favourite with the 100 or so women professionals from all over the globe who enjoy staying in both the 4 star hotel and the self-catered luxury lodges on site. The tournament attracted many spectators from the area who saw it featured on BBC Look East last week and in the local press.
Leading scores: M De Roey (Belgium) 205 (-11)*, L Hall (Wales) 205 (-11); F Johnson (England) 208 (-8); E Nilsson (Sweden) 210 (-6).
*Won in a play-off
(l to r)
LETAS Tour Director Di Barnard, SbN Director Carmella Meyer, SbN Director Tamara Unwin, LETAS Winner Manon De Roey, Club President Leslie Garnet, Lady Captain Elaine Davidson, Club Captain Alan Line, SbN MD Susanna Rendall