Melissa Reid triumphs at the Turkish Ladies Open
This week saw the thrilling climax of the Turkish Airline Ladies Open playing out at the Carya Golf Club in Belek. Having led from the start, England’s Melissa Reid started her final round with a narrow 1 shot lead, and therefore there was still everything to play for in the final day of the competition.
Reid gained an early lead in the competition when she played the round of her life, coming home with a round of 8 under par. This round score was only matched by Scot Pamela Pretswell, who was also pleased to achieve the lowest round of her professional career, during the tournament’s second round. Her round 2 score of 65 meant coming into the last round, she stood in second place, as Reid’s closest competitor. Other challengers at the end of 3 rounds included Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, who had pulled off a spectacular eagle on the penultimate hole of round 1, and Scot Sally Watson, who also eagled on hole 6.
As play began on the final day, Reid soon gained the advantage, by birdying the first hole, whilst Pretswell dropped 4 shots in the first five. However, Pretswell was unable to regain her second round form in the back 9, bogeying 3 more holes, and she eventually slipped to 6th position in the overall rankings.
Pretswell’s performance did not let Reid off of the hook however, as a strong opening from Nocera saw her move to within 2 shots of the lead by the time that she had reached the 11th hole. Unfortunately for her, Reid finished strongly, and Nocera was unable to make up the difference, despite finishing the round 2 under par.
Overall, Reid came home with an impressive 11 under par, edging out Nocera who finished the tournament with 7 under par. The remainder of the top 5 was made up of contestants from the British Isles, as Dame Laura Davies (England), Sally Watson (Scotland) and Kylie Walker (Scotland) tied for third, each taking home €23,500. Winner Reid will pocket €75,000 and Nocera will take home €45,000.
For Reid, the tournament marks a return to form, having last won a major tournament in 2012, shortly after the passing of her mother. Her win has hopefully cemented her place in the European team for the Solheim cup. Nocera, who actually performed in this tournament despite an ankle injury picked up during a non-sporting event, is also hoping to secure a place in the side, and her strong performance this week will support her claim.
The Carya Golf course itself was widely praised by players, with third placed player Dame Laura Davies saying that “I just wish we played it here every year”, adding that the course offered players the chance to play some fantastic golf. Designed by Australian Peter Thomson, the course is a heathland-inspired course, which requires players to utilise skill and strategy at every turn. In addition to this, it is one of the only courses in Europe that allows night golf, as it is fully floodlit.