Lewthwaite hangs on for Italian Open top-10

Lejan Lewthwaite got herself well in contention on Sunday in the final round of the Ladies Italian Open at Golf Club Margara on the Ladies European Tour, and she ended up hanging in there well for a solid top-10 finish.

She carded a closing one-over-par 73 in the final round to finish on a 54-hole total of four-under-par for a share of seventh place. The tournament was won by French amateur Lucie Malchirand on seven-under by one stroke from Ursula Wikstrom of Finland and England’s Gabriella Cowley.

Lewthwaite had got it to seven-under by the fifth hole in the final round with a pair of birdies on four and five, and, even after a dropped shot on the eighth, she was still just one shot off the lead heading into the homeward nine.

 But she made three consecutive bogeys immediately after the turn to drop some way off the pace, and only a gutsy performance of five consecutive pars before she closed with a birdie on 18 kept her inside the top 10.

Behind her Casandra Hall also battled to finish off a promising start to the final round. She had made three birdies to move to five-under for the tournament going into the final nine, but bogeys on 10, 12, 13 and 15 derailed her somewhat as she closed with pars after the damage had been done. She was one-under for the tournament in a share of 21st.

Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini had a tough start to the tournament with a five-over 77, and she also battled to close as he carded a three-over 75. She was seven-over in a share of 59th.

Lewthwaite climbed to 16th on the Race to Costa del Sol, the season-long competition to crown the Ladies European Tour’s number one player. It is currently led by SA Women’s Open champion Lee-Anne Pace, with Nicole Garcia in a share of fifth.

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