Sunday

Laura Davies Shines in a Thrilling Indian Open Win

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2010 has turned out to be quite the year for Laura Davies.

In early September we saw her win the UNIQUA Open in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, becoming the oldest female player to win a professional tournament. On any tour, ever... then a couple of weeks later she broke her own record at the Open de España, her 76th career win... and this week, at the DLF Golf and Country Club, she proved what many golf fans suspected: that those September wins would by no means be her last.
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An electrifying eagle on the final hole put Ms. Davies into a four-way playoff at the HERO HONDA Women's Indian Open yesterday, which she won at the first hole. The duel involved Thailand's Nontaya Srisawang, South Africa's Tandi Cuningham and Sweden's Louise Friberg  and was described succinctly in India's Deccan Herald
Davies was two-on on the par-five 18th and two-putted for a birdie that gave her the title. Incidentally it was the same hole that resurrected her title hopes during regulation play when she eagled to keep herself afloat.


Nontaya was three-on and two putted for a par while the two other players Cuningham and Friberg hit their ball into the water.
The win came after a roller coaster week that toyed with the English champion in a number of ways.  From clubs that went AWOL en route to an ensuing customs conundrum and subsequent mad dash to make her opening tee time.  It an unsettling series of events and Davies' - 7 on Friday followed by a + 6 on Saturday seemingly reflected that.  The fact that she was able to pull together the goods to get into Sunday's playoff what makes her Laura Davies... and an inspiration to fans and aspiring golfers everywhere.

This is particularly true in India, where Davies played for the first time almost three years ago in the EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters.  Prior that the tournament she teamed up with one of India's rising stars Sharmila Nicollet... only 16 at the time... for a challenge match, which they won.  Back then the young Indian player spoke about how inspiring it was to play with the iconic English champion.

Yesterday in New Delhi, a more mature Nicollet returned a three-under 69, the best score of the day, to emerge as the best Indian player with a tied-23 finish.

Photo: via gulfnews.com - Laura Davies and Sharmilla Nicollet at the EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters in December 2007