Date: October 18, 2010
Author: Paul Melville

LPGA – RECARI BREAKS THROUGH FOR MAIDEN LPGA WIN

(18 October 2010 – Danville, California)

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Spain&aposs Beatriz Recari broke through for her first victory on the LPGA, taking out the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge by one stroke. On a final day marred by cold and wet conditions, Recari fired a 2-under par round of 70 to clinch victory by one shot over Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, with America’s Michelle Redman and another Frenchwoman, Karine Icher tied for third.
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rnAfter three rounds, there was a logjam at the top of the leaderboard with Recari and Redman sharing the lead at 12-under par with Korea’s Ilhee Lee. Wendy Ward and Nocera were a shot back with Icher a further shot back in outright sixth. Last start winner, Katherine Hull was also looming large just three off the pace at 9-under par.
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rnThe demanding conditions made birdies difficult to come by on the last day and Lee was the first to succumb, posting four bogeys on her outward nine. She would eventually shoot 6-over 78 to finish in a tie for 15th.
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rnThrough nine holes, most players were basically treading water; Recari and Redman picking up a shot each to be at 13-under and Nocera keeping pace to remain one behind. Recari assumed the lead after Redman made a bogey immediately after the turn, which Nocera had also done in the group ahead. Ward kept giving her birdies back and remained at 11-under through 12 holes.
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rnThe crunch came when Recari made back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th holes, opening up a three shot buffer with four holes to play as Ward, Nocera and Redman all sat on 12-under. Recari then played the 15th and 16th in pars before a nervous bogey on the 17th saw her lead reduced to just one shot as Nocera had just birdied the 18th up ahead.
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rnIn the end, a two-putt par from just off the green on the 18th secured victory for the likable Spaniard who has played in Australia regularly over the last 4 years. It was her first victory since taking the Finnair Masters on the LET in 2009 and almost tripled her season earnings, securing her card for the next few years. After rolling in the two-foot par putt for victory, she leapt into her caddies arms in an emotional celebration.
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rnAfter her round, Recari was in a sort of state of disbelief, saying, “I&aposm kind of like realising that I won. I still cannot believe it. I think it&aposll take me kind of a couple days to assimilate that. I&aposm flying tonight to Malaysia, so I&aposll probably have a couple hours to actually think what happened this week.  I&aposm thrilled. I&aposm just very, very happy and proud of myself of that result and the kind of competition that I showed out there.
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rnIn the mix until her last hole, Hull’s double-bogey was a bonus for compatriots Sarah Kemp and Karrie Webb who joined Hull in a tie for 10th. It was Kemp’s day in the final round shooting the low score of the day with a 6-under 66, moving her from a tie for 36th to her first Top-10 on the LPGA. The $20,322 prizemoney also gives her a fighting chance to retain full status for 2011, moving her up to 85th on the Money List. Also making the cut were Sarah-Jane Smith (T28) and Lindsey Wright (T53).
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rnThe LPGA moves to Malaysia this week for the inaugural US$1.8million Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. The ALPG will be represented by Katherine Hull and Frances Bondad, who received a sponsor’s invite.