Skarpnord edges Reid in thriller

Marianne Skarpnord claimed her first LET victory at the Deutsche Bank Swiss Open – but not before a dramatic, last gasp finish.

Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord claimed her first LET victory at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open at Golf Gerre Losone on Sunday – but not before a dramatic, last gasp finish.

The 23-year-old, in her 5th season on the Ladies European Tour, had started the day a shot clear of Melissa Reid, one of England’s brightest young prospects, and spent the rest of it swapping places in a see-saw final round that finally came down to the final put on the last.

Reid needed two putts at least to force a play-off, but three-putted and Skarpnord’s closing three putts for 70 and a 16-under total were just enough to enable her to take away the spoils and leave Reid in second place, also having posted a 70, and Australia’s Karen Lunn (69) in third place after chipping in for a dramatic eagle with her final shot of the day.

And so while Reid was ruing those three putts at the last and the fact that it forced her to settle for her fourth runner-up spot in two seasons, Skarpnord celebrated her win – and Norway’s national day – with a group of friends who stormed the 18th green and sprayed her with champagne.

“To get a win this early in the season is just great – and now I can also play at Evian,” she said.

“Melissa and I both played well. We were either even, one shot up, or one shot down throughout the entire round. She just missed a few putts around 13, 14, or something and I made a birdie on 16. That brought me back. but it was hard work at the end, three putting there. The first putt I didn’t think was so fast but luckily it didn’t matter that I didn’t have to sink the second. I just had to put it close.”

With season’s earnings of €88,414.68, Skarpnord now leads the LET’s official 2009 Henderson Money List and earned 30 Solheim Cup points, taking her to eighth position on the European standings.

The Ladies European Tour now moves to Munich for the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open, presented by Audi at Golfpark Gut Hausern.

Courtesy of the sponsor, Skarpnord was one of the lucky players to be whisked straight to Germany in an Audi Q7.