Tinning closes out career with LET win in Dubai

Iben Tinning celebrates after winning the 2010 Dubai Ladies Masters.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iben Tinning of Denmark ended her career with a victory at the Dubai Ladies Masters on Saturday, clinching the win with a birdie on the last hole to hold off Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist by two shots.

The 36-year-old Tinning, who is retiring after 15 years on the tour, shot a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish at 11-under 277.

Lee-Anne Pace won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit despite struggling to a tie for 52nd at 299. She became the first South African to top the women’s money list when Laura Davies of England failed to finish first or second.

American Michelle Wie, struggling with back problems all week, was eight shots behind going into the final round, but moved up to a share for sixth place after shooting a 67, the best score of the day, to finish at 283.

“Yeah, I’m just happy to be done. I’m happy I made it through,” Wie said. “It’s been a little bit of a struggle this week but I was really happy to end on a really good note. Things happened a lot better. Just hit a couple of shots closer.”

Tinning was a shot ahead of the 16th-ranked Nordqvist and England’s Melissa Reid going to the 18th and got safely on the green to set up the birdie putt that sealed the victory.

Tinning hugged her husband, Lasse, who caddies for her, after Reid made a bogey putt to end up in third place. It was Tinning’s sixth tour victory – and first since 2005 – and will help erase the bad memories of playing here in 2007 when she missed a putt on the 17th and then hit a shot in the water on the 18th to hand the win to Annika Sorenstam.

“It’s crazy,” she said with a smile. “I know it’s going through my head now but I can’t believe I won. It was amazing. I just tried to keep strong out there and it was tough sometimes. I cannot believe this. I am so happy.”

Pace, who lost her European Tour card in 2007 and was 21st on last year’s money list, is now looking ahead to next year, setting her sights on a first major title and a maiden win on the LPGA Tour.

“Now, my goals are a lot bigger and I believe I can do anything I want,” she said. “After winning five tournaments this year, I know anything is possible.”

The 56th-ranked Pace won her first tournament on the tour in Switzerland in June and then four more to take the money lead. She earned more than $449,000, while Davies finished second with over $412,000.

Davies shot a 3-over 75 on the first day to effectively end the title race. She finished in a tie for 19th at 1-over 289.

Davies played eight fewer tournaments than Pace, but praised the South African as a deserving winner.

“She’s the one that when I went ahead of her after Spain, she hit back with two wins and you just can’t say enough about that,” said Davies, a seven-time Order of Merit winner.

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