Date: May 08, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Garrett reigns in Spain

By Alistair Hogg Australian Nikki Garrett has captured her maiden Ladies European Tour title with a two-stroke win in the Tenerife Ladies Open overnight. The 23-year year old carded a final round 72 which saw her home ahead of England&aposs Trish Johnson and Spaniard Tania Elosegui. The tough Golf de Sul Tenerife course proved testing for most, but Garrett&aposs background of playing links courses paid off. Growing up in New South Wales, Garrett played a lot of golf atop the cliffs at Tuggerah Lakes and now represents Magenta Links Country Club, North Entrance where it can be windy at the best of times. The 2006 LET Rookie Of The Year started well carding an opening round 69 but fell back with a second round 75. A third round of one-under put her in the box seat going into the final day and Garrett didn&apost disappoint, delivering her maiden LET title in the first European event of the year. Last year she was the highest ranked LET player without a title to her name and after this week, Garrett might need to re-assess her goals for 2007. “I thought this year would be a lot harder than last year because I had more expectations on myself,” she told the LET. “My main goal this year was to win and now I&aposve done it so early I don&apost know what I&aposm going to do! I&aposll have to sit down and re-assess the situation.” Garrett was the only player under par at Tenerife but it was not looking so bright early on the final day when she was forced to hit a provisional ball off the first tee. However the Australian found her ball and managed to save par which proved a huge momentum boost; especially when overnight co-leaders Johnson and Elosegui both made bogeys. A 12-foot birdie putt on four took her to two under before a three-putt on the sixth saw her drop a shot. Another birdie followed on the par-four seventh but again she was unable to capitalise, succumbing to another bogey on the 10th. When another dropped shot drew Garrett level with Elosegui, nerves started to come into effect as she drove well wide from the 17th tee. However a deft nine-iron onto the green and two-putts saw the 23-year old take a two-stroke lead into the final hole of the tournament. With Johnson and Elosegui already in the clubhouse Garrett coolly made par to claim her maiden title and a three-year exemption into the LET. Final scores from the Tenerife Ladies Open at Golf del Sur, Tenerife -1: Nikki Garrett (Aus) 69 75 71 72 +1: Trish Johnson (Eng) 71 70 77 71, Tania Elosegui (Esp) 71 75 71 72 +2: Ana Larraneta (Esp) 72 73 71 74, Becky Brewerton (Wal) 71 71 73 75 +3: Stefania Croce (Ita) 73 71 77 70, Ana B Sanchez (Esp) 67 73 76 75 +4: Titiya Plucksataporn (Tha) 69 76 72 75, Sophia Sandolo (Ita) 70 77 68 77 +5: Paula Marti (Esp) 75 70 76 72