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England's Davies wins second Australian Open

sports Updated: Feb 16, 2009 05:25 IST

AFP
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English veteran Laura Davies stormed home with a closing five-under-par 68 to claim her second Women's Australian Open at The Metropolitan by one stroke in Melbourne today.

The 45-year-old former world number one, who finished the tournament on seven-under 285 (74-76-67-68), adds the title to her win in Sydney in 2004.

Spain's Tania Elosegui was leading Davies by a shot but double-bogeyed the final hole to finish with a three-under 70 and six-under 286.

"I'm really pleased with the win because this is such a great course," Davies said.

"I've had seven wins in Australia, which is very pleasing and I've always loved coming here."

Davies said her goal was to shoot 12-under over the weekend.

"On Saturday morning I thought that would win and this time it actually happened, but I didn't actually think about winning until I had a three-stroke lead at the 16th tee.

"It certainly wasn't expected yesterday morning. There was no way I thought I would be sitting here (in the winner's press conference)."

England's Melissa Reid (76-72-70-69) finished in a tie for third at five-under 287 with South Koreans Lee Chang-Hee (69-70-75-73) and Choi He-Yong (72-73-71-71).

Davies finished the final 36 holes in 11-under par and began her final round charge with a birdie at the day's first hole.

She kept working her way up the leaderboard, picking up three shots with an eagle at the 14th and a birdie at the next.

But she had a mixed run over the closing four holes, going birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey.

Davies, a four-time major winner, said she planned to use her Australian campaign as the platform to lift her back into the world's top 10.

A winner of 71 tournaments, she slumped to 95th on the LPGA Tour last year but won the Austrian Open on the European circuit and went into the Australian Open ranked 68.

Elosegui, ranked 221, birdied the 17th but collapsed at the last with a double-bogey six to hand the crown to Davies.

Elosegui said confusion over the leaderboard towards the end of the round caused her to over-reach on the last hole and play aggressively when she had two putts to spare.

"I made my putt for birdie so at that moment I thought we were tied and on the last I said to myself, just try to make another birdie," Elosegui said.

Australians Katherine Hull (76-74-70-70) and defending champion Karrie Webb (66-75-75-74) tied for sixth on two-under 290.

Webb, who had been aiming for her third straight title and her fifth overall, was the first-round leader but struggled for the third successive day, finishing two under par.