If you are going to get over the line in sport you need a bit of luck to fall your way. As Leona Maguire found out, lady luck was not smiling in her direction but for Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic the golfing gods were looking down on her in the final round of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open in Dromoland Castle.
The 27-year-old from Prague hit her tee shot into the water hazard at the front of the green on 17. Fortunately for her she was able to roll up the trousers and hack it out barefoot.
To describe it as a hack out is perhaps slightly harsh given the result, the ball trundled down to five-feet and she rolled it in for the par of her life with a birdie on 16 and a birdie on 18 coming either side.
“That was definitely the best up and down of my whole life, to be honest. I am just really happy that it came out that way and it ended up a metre from the hole and I make a par,” smiled Spilkova whose only other LET win came back in 2017.
Spilkova who has been plying much of her trade on the Futures Tour but finished 8th in France last week was the only one to make birdie on the first playoff hole that involved Ursula Wikstrom and Nicole Broch Estrup.
The long hitting Czech was through the 18th green in two and saw her eagle chip lip out heavily. It was another touch of good fortune for her as the ball was destined to roll at least eight feet by. Instead she was left with half that distance to secure the win after both her opponents came up short.
“It feels great, I feel like coming home, being able to play on LET again because I haven’t been playing here much, so it just feels really nice. And a lot of Irish fans came out to watch, which I really appreciated, a really big thing for people from here. There was a great vibe and the fans were amazing.
“I have been on tour for 12 years and I knew I could make it, that I could win another one, because I have been playing really well recently and I have been up there every week. I just had to trust in it, to win, it doesn’t really happen every day or every week. You have to enjoy it.
“To make the putt, I was just trying to stay calm. I knew it is a metre uphill putt and I made millions of those in my life and I just knew, ‘I am going to make it’, I put good speed on it and I felt really strong. I was like, ‘I can do this’, so that was great,” added the world number 292.
After a third round 73, Spilkova was back in the pack alongside Maguire on nine-under-par but it was a back nine of 33 on Sunday that catapulted her into the playoff.
Birdies on ten and eleven kept her in the mix following a one-under front nine and two birdies and that miraculous par in her last three holes proved vital.
Maguire needed to chip in for eagle on 18 if she was to join the party on fourteen-under but she came up a shot shy.
Smilla Soenderby will be wondering if this is one that got away after a triple-bogey on 17 yesterday and a three-putt par on her 72nd hole left her a shot shy on –13.
Danish player Broch Estrup had destiny in her own hands but she could only par the 72nd hole to go into the playoff.