Walsh shines but comes up short on dramatic final day of the Swiss Ladies Open.

Kevin Kent

Lauren Walsh (Image: Forefront)

Kevin Kent

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Lauren Walsh put in the round of the week on the final day of the Swiss Ladies Open to post the clubhouse lead and face an agonising wait as the final groups filtered home. It was not to be for the Dubliner as she was pipped at the post by Alice Hewson and India’s Tvesa Malik who would head into extra holes.

Walsh had a sensational final day with a blemish free 64. The Dubliner began on the first in the morning groups and was quickly up to speed with two birdies on her opening three holes. A run of nine straight pars would follow before Walsh lit the touchpaper with birdie on the par-4 13th. Her run of four birdies from the par-3 15th all the way home through the par-4 final hole saw Walsh rocket up the order and leapfrog the leaders to lead by two on -10 in the clubhouse.

Her magnificent final day gave her the best chance to land a maiden win for the rookie. She could only look on however as her lead was being reeled in. Both Malik and Hewson would finish eagle-birdie on impressive runs of their own to overtake Walsh at the top in the latest of afternoon drama. Walsh would have to settle for T3 with Spain’s Fatima Fernandez Cano. A third top ten and the closest Walsh has come to breaking her LET duck on her rookie year.

Both leaders making it into the playoff were having fine rounds themselves, with Hewson and Malik carding 65 and 66 respectively to tie the lead after 54 holes on -11.  Unable to be separated in regulation play the pair would head back to replay the 18th for a battle to the line. Hewson’s second into the playoff hole would give her the advantage, stroking one inside ten feet. Birdie would follow and the English woman went on to win for the second time on the LET, her first coming in just her first event on tour in South Africa in 2020.

An Elated Hewson gave her thoughts after the playoff drama: “I’m a little bit lost for words really,” Hewson said “Huge congrats to Tvesa as well. It was an unreal finish from her today. It was an honour being out there with her in the playoff. It feels a bit surreal. It’s been a while since I’ve been in this situation. Coming from my first ever event on Tour [which I won], to now, it’s been a journey. A lot of ups and downs. There’s so many people to thank. I’m lost for words!“

She went on to sum up the final day fireworks: “I was patient all day,” Hewson said.

“I had given myself so many opportunities. So to see a couple drop coming in was nice. I didn’t see a leaderboard until the 16th green. I thought time to go birdie-birdie and then I got away with one on 17 with the slam-dunk form the bunker! There were times when the belief was definitely missing. I went through a bit of a rough patch two-and-a-bit years ago. So, to be back here winning today, I’m very grateful.”

The win nets Hewson 45k and moves her up to 5th spot in the OOM led by her compatriot Bronte Law.

Next up the LET heads for London for another big money Aramco Team Series event. The big hitters are in town for next week’s event at the Centurion club as Walsh will be joined by compatriot Leona Maguire in a stellar field. Olivia Mehaffey currently sits in the reserves for the one-million-dollar event. A tricky par-73 around Centurian Club awaits and Walsh will be glad of the quick turn around as she heads to London in red hot form.

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