Sophie's Italian Choice

Sweden's Sophie Gustaffson claims her second title in four weeks, winning the Ladies Italian Open...

Golfmagic Newswire
Mon, 22 May 2000
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Sweden's Sophie Gustafson won the Ladies Italian Open by three shots. Nobody came close to the 26-year-old, who shot a steady one under par, 72, to secure her second win of the year.

Gustafson held a two shot lead from Italy's Silvia Cavalleri who was one ahead of England's Trish Johnson and Caroline Hall, and former tournament leader, Valerie Van Ryckeghem. "I didn't have too much pressure," she explained. "I just tried to keep it steady as no-one was making a charge."

Victory at Poggio Dei Medici came three weeks after a win at the Chick-fil-A in the USA, something she said gave her immense confidence coming into the tournament.

Now her aim is to ensure a place in the 2000 Solheim Cup team, a likely proposition as her win in Italy moves her up into fourth place in the rankings.

Team-mate from the 1998 Solheim Cup, Trish Johnson, did not fare so well on the final day. The English player started the day three shots behind Gustafson and after birdies at the first and second it looked as if she was going to threaten the Swede.

Her birdie at the par five second was to be the last of the day however and she went onto drop five shots throughout the course of the round and card a disappointing 76.

Johnson's final score of one under par dropped her back to seventh position, seven shots behind Gustafson.

Second place was shared between local favourite, Silvia Cavalleri, and Belgian Valerie Van Ryckeghem.

Only two players broke 70 on the final day's play. Alison Nicholas and Julie Forbes both carded four under par 69s, but after starting the day at five and seven over respectively it was never going to be enough.

Last year's Italian Open champion, Samantha Head, was unable to repeat last year's success and finished the tournament at ten over par.

 

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