Irish amateur misses out to Allen
Published 05/07/2015 | 20:06
America's Beth Allen won her first Ladies European Tour title in the ISPS Handa European Masters after Irish amateur Leona Maguire threatened to pull off a famous victory.
Maguire, who is the top-ranked amateur in the world, had moved into a share of the lead with her sixth birdie of the day on the 17th, but was unable to save par from a greenside bunker on the last to force a play-off.
The 20-year-old from County Cavan had to settle for a closing round of 69 to finish 11 under par, one behind Allen who carded six birdies and one bogey in her 67.
"I'm so happy," said Allen, who finished second in the same event three years ago after carding a triple-bogey on the penultimate hole. "I did not have a lot of expectations because I got my heart broken here in 2012 and had not made the cut since."
Allen, who had Solheim Cup vice-captain Sophie Gustafsson as her caddie at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, added: " I am just so pleased. I was never sure if it was going to happen. Sophie really kept me grounded and I ended up getting it done."
Maguire revealed misjudging the wind proved costly on the 18th, where her tee shot ran through the green into a bunker.
"I knew it was tight coming up 18 and we didn't really know where the wind was coming from," said Maguire, whose father Declan was on her bag.
"I thought it was downwind, dad thought it was into the wind and it was probably the wrong club off the tee but I'm very proud of the way I played all day.
"Going out at the start of the day I would have taken that so it's been a great day."
Thailand's Nontaya Srisawang was a shot behind Maguire in third with overnight leader Caroline Masson carding a 75 to slip back into a share of fourth place with Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark and Australian Rebecca Artis.
Dame Laura Davies was another shot back after a closing 67 which featured the 11th hole-in-one of her career on the seventh.