What a difference a week made for Australia’s Stacey Keating. She went from the worst week of her life to one of the best in the space of just a few days.
Keating bombed out of last week’s $2.5 million Ricoh Women’s British Open after signing for an incorrect score in the first round. She made up for that gaffe by winning the Spanish Open in a sudden-death playoff with Germany’s Caroline Masson.
Rounds of 70-69-70-70 gave Keating a 72-hole total of 9-under 279 to tie Masson for the lead, one shot ahead of veteran English player Trish Johnson. Keating and Masson headed back to the 18th hole at the Golf Las Americas Golf Club in Tenerife.
The 26-year-old Australian holed a 5-foot birdie putt to take the title and win her first Ladies European Tour event. She picked up a check for €52,500. Masson earned €35,525.
“I’ve probably had the worst week of my life and the best week of my life in two weeks,” Keating said. “It was very disappointing last week but this makes up for it, I can tell you. It will be all forgotten, last week.”
She also paid tribute to mentor Karrie Webb.
“After the disappointment of last week she’s been great. Her and Karen Lunn. I have to mention her as well. They’ve been unbelievable. I don’t like to say, the veterans out here, but they’ve been great and they really have helped me.”
Masson made life easier for Keating in the playoff by hitting her second shot into a water hazard.
“If you hit a shot like that you don’t deserve to win and Stacey played well,” Masson said. “She made birdie and just congratulations to her.”
Johnson came close to her 22nd career title by firing a 5-under-par 67 in the final round.
“To shoot five under on the last day in pretty tricky conditions, you’ve got to be fairly happy,” Johnson said. “But I’m a little bit disappointed to come up one short, I guess.”
Masson’s second-place finish takes her to the top of the Ladies European Tour order of merit. She’s earned € 171439.48 from 16 tournaments this season and leads Spain’s Carlota Ciganda by just over €7,000. Keating moves to 9th on the order of merit with €109,545.06.
The LET returns to action with the Lacoste Ladies French Open at Chantaco Golf Club in Aquitaine October 4-7.