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IELAC 2008 Training - 29.8.2008

Carlota's 2nd Euro-Title

Carlota Ciganda (Spa) wins her 2nd European Championship title since 2004 by way of a playoff against Maria Hernandez. Christel Boeljon (Ned) grabs the Bronze medal after finishing fourth in last year's championship.

Dramatic final 18 holes with overtime at the International European Ladies Amateur Championship in GC Schloss Schönborn. The two Spanish players, Carlota Ciganda and Maria Hernandez, as well as the Dutch Christel Boeljon delivered a spectacular 'final flight' shootout for the European Championship title. The lead changed numerous times on the final day with each player leading by a nose at some point during the round.

Maria Hernandez played aggressively the entire day and was able to take a three shot lead, while Ciganda had to cope with three Bogeys in the first third of the round. Christel Boeljon fought her way in with two Birdies shortly before half-time.

On the back 9, Ciganda was able to celebrate her Birdies on the 8 and 11, thus taking the lead while her Spanish teammate was forced to fall back after playing three Bogeys. Matters took a turn on the 17 Par 4 as Ciganda overhit the green, almost chipped into the water and ended the hold with a double Bogey. "That's when I thought it was over and that I would lose." Recalled Ciganda afterwards. With Bogeys on the Par 5's - 13 and 16 - Boeljon lost her chance at the title, giving Hernandez a slim one shot lead going into the 18th.
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It was a matter of pure nerves for all three players on the final hole, with all having to fight for their Par. After Ciganda and Boeljon were only able to deliver a Par on the Par 5, Hernandez only had make a one metre putt in order to claim the title, but the 22-year-old from Pamplona missed. It was 75 strokes for Ciganda and Boeljon and 76 strokes for Hernandez who, along with her Spanish teammate ended the 2008 European Championship tied in the lead.

Thus, the decision of who would be crowned European Champion only came after a 3-hole playoff, as it did in the previous year with Carlota Ciganda and for the first time Maria Hernandez. With Birdies on the first two extra holes (7 and 8), Ciganda took the lead, while Hernandez was only able to win a shot on the 8th.

On number 9 Par 3 it was a clear decision after Hernandez shot her ball into the greenside bunker. Maria almost holed her sand shot though, but the Par simply was not enough as Ciganda safely made two putts to end the playoff with two under Par.

"This title is just as nice as my first one as a fourteen-year-old." Beamed Ciganda, "...but it was really hard for me to be in a playoff against another Spaniard." As opposed to the previous year's
playoff loss to Caroline Hedwall, Ciganda took advantage this time.

Fourth place went to Denmark's Charlotte Kring-Lorentzen on Even Par. The best score on the final day - a 71 (-2) - was scored by Naomi Edwards (Eng), Barbara Genuini (Fra) and Lara Katzy (D). The best Austrian was the 20-year-old Martina Hochwimmer from Salzburg in 13th position, thanks to the strong final round of 72..

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