English amateur Meghan MacLaren shot an impressive six under par on the final day, to win the Santander Golf Tour LETAS La Penaza in Zaragoza, Spain. The 22 year-old from Cambridge improved each round, with 69, 68 and 66, to finish at -13, two ahead of Sarah Schober from Austria.
I’m a little bit in shock. I felt comfortable out there, I knew that I just had to keep playing my own game because it was so tight between all of us. I knew we were all close but I wasn’t a 100% sure on the scores. But I said to myself anyway after the first round that I just wanted to keep improving each day and I knew if I did that I would have a chance.”
“It took me a little while to make any birdies this morning but I knew if I could just keep my rhythm and not make any mistakes and I putted really, really well. I felt like I had really good rhythm on the greens. I missed one short one on 12, the par three, but I made birdie on the hole after that so that settled me down again. I just kept in control as much as I could but it was pretty tense out there.”
It was MacLaren’s second event on the LET Access Series, her first was two weeks ago in the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa, where the young amateur finished in a tie for 10th place. MacLaren has relished the opportunity to compete against a professional field.
“It’s great experience whether I had done well or not, being able to play in professional events is something no matter how good amateur events are there’s nothing like playing professional events, which is what I realised last week as well, at Stoke by Nayland. I played well there with a few mistakes and came 10th so I knew if I could just cut out the mistakes this week that I might have a chance and I knew the course suited me as soon as I played it. I don’t know it was just my week I guess, 66 is the best round of my life, I still can’t believe it.”
Schober clinched the LETAS Order of Merit title with another fine performance with a final round of 68 to finish at ten under par, 205. The Austrian has finished runner-up five times this year but was delighted to have claimed her LET card for the 2017 season.
“I am very happy. Everything that comes from now, will be a great gift.”
Belgium’s Manon de Roey finished in third place, on her own at -10 and guaranteed her place at the final stage of the LET’s Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco later this year.
Scotland’s Michele Thomson (71), with her father Graham’s support as her caddy, finished in a tie for 4th place alongside Swede Jessica Karlsson (69), claiming fourth place on the Order of Merit and her passage to the LET next year.
Jenny Haglund of Sweden, Spain’s Maria Parra and Finn Sanna Nuutinen will all also graduate onto the main tour, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th on the LETAS ranking respectively.