Eberl wins BMW Ladies Italian Open

Germany’s Martina Eberl cruised to a five stroke victory at the BMW Ladies Italian Open in Tuscany. The win was her second in 10 months after the 2007 Madrid Ladies Masters last October

The 26-year-old from Munich added a closing two-under 69 to opening rounds of 67, 74 and 65 for a total of nine-under-par 275 at Argentario Golf Resort and Spa on Monte Argentario.

Eberl began the day with a two stroke lead and stalled with an early bogey at the second hole, but bounced back with two tap in birdies at the seventh and eighth holes to claim a three stroke cushion at the turn.

She knocked in a four-foot birdie putt at the par-four 10th hole, before carding another bogey at the 13th hole, where she pulled her tee shot left into deep bushes and took a penalty drop.

After sealing the win and first prize of 67,500 with a tap-in birdie at the par-four 18th hole, she said: I m so happy right now. It was very hard out there and the wind was very difficult all week.

I didn t know I was leading until I hit my second shot into the 18th hole and looked over to the leader board. I ignored every score board all day because it doesn t help me and I figured that out a long time ago.

I must thank my caddie Paul (Vincent Fernie) because he was calming me down all day. He knew I didn t want to know the scores and without his help I wouldn t have won. I never want to give him away.

Eberl said she would celebrate in a local restaurant with some pasta and her boyfriend Thad Kael (Kiran Matharu s current caddie) before heading to the Evian Masters, from July 24-27.

The next two weeks are European majors but I just want to enjoy this week first, said Eberl, adding: I m looking forward to next week and I hope that I can play well again there.

The US$3.25 million Evian Masters is considered a major on the Ladies European Tour and the prize money is the highest in women s golf alongside the Women s US Open.

Spain s Carmen Alonso had a career best finish of second after shooting 66 and playing the back nine in six-under-par.

Alonso, who has limited playing privileges on tour this year, entered the tournament as the first reserve and with her fine performance almost certainly secured her car d for the 2009 season.

The longest hitter on the Ladies European Tour fired five birdies in a row from the 10th hole, with another at the 16th, for an inward total of 29 strokes.

She explained: Two months ago I was practising at my home club, Race Golf Club in Madrid, and I made six under on the back nine. I was standing on the 10th tee today and I thought, Why not six under on the back nine today? It could have been seven birdies in a row because on 15 I made a really good birdie putt but missed it by an inch.

I was two over after seven holes but the best thing I have learned from Laurette Maritz is that you have to fight until the end. That s it.

I m so happy because my mum is here and all my problems have gone away. Now I can relax. I just wanted to keep my card. Of course I am happy about the money but for me money is not the20most important thing. I need to have my card because with my card I can play and for me that is everything. Golf is my passion.

Denmark s Lisa Holm Sorensen shot a final round 73 and shared third on three-under with World No 11 Maria Hjorth from Sweden and Wales Becky Brewerton, who both shot 72.

The leading Italian player was Stefania Croce, who shared sixth with three others: Sweden s Christine Hallstrom and the French duo of Gwladys Nocera and Anne-Lise Caudal.

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