Britain's all-time great Laura Davies shot a final level-par round of 71 Sunday to win the Women’s Spanish Open on the Ladies European Tour and claim her 76th career title at Flamingos Golf on the Costa del Sol.
Davies finished at 11 under par for the tournament and secured a two-stroke win over fellow Englishwoman Rebecca Hudson, Australian Frances Bondad and Christina Kim of the United States, just two weeks after her last victory in Austria.
The four-time major champion said it was one of the best wins of her life after she thought she had blown it by carding a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 13th hole. After going to the turn in a 3-under-par 32, Davies was three strokes clear of the field when she hit her tee shot left onto a steep rocky slope on the uphill par 4.
Along with her caddie Johnny Scott, she scrambled up the slippery and dangerous hill and found the ball but twice hit a rock behind it while trying to escape from the trouble. She hit her fourth shot onto the fairway and by the time she walked off the green with a quadruple bogey, was tied for the lead with compatriot Lisa Hall on 10 under-par.
Unlike at the previous week's Women’s French Open, where Davies was tied for the lead after 10 holes in the final round only to triple bogey the 11th and fall out of contention, she responded immediately with brilliant birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to establish a two-stroke advantage. Hall meanwhile double bogeyed the 16th to drop back into a four-way tie for fifth.
"I thought I'd blown it, because last week I had the triple bogey on No. 11 and I did blow it, so it works on your mind a bit. It was nice to come straight back with those two birdies,” Davies explained. "After last week, I thought the bogey man was following us around again. I think it made a big difference going birdie, birdie, after that. It saved the day, I think."
With her fourth title of the season, in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Spain, Davies moved to the top of the LET's 2010 Henderson Money List. The 46-year-old, who already held the record as the oldest winner on the tour, is targeting the No. 1 spot for the eighth time in her career.
"I think I'm definitely playing in Dubai and possibly one of the Asian events to try and stay level with Lee-Anne (Pace) and Mel (Reid)," she said
This was Davies' 43rd LET victory and she also has 20 wins on the LPGA Tour in America and 13 on other Tours.
There are five events remaining this season and the next tournament on the schedule is the Sanya Ladies Open in China, from Oct. 22-24.