Casandra Alexander came up just one stroke short of a spot in the play-off on Saturday as she carded a closing three-under-par 69 in the final round of the Ladies European Tour’s Ladies Italian Open at Golf Club Margara.
Alexander narrowly missed making birdie on the par-five final hole which would have taken her to 10-under for the tournament and into a four-way share of the lead at the end of regulation play. The others on 10-under were Italian amateur Alessandra Fanali, England’s Megan MacLaren and first-round leader Morgane Metraux of Switzerland.
Metreaux emerged victorious from the pressure-cooker of the play-off, making eagle on the first time of asking as the three went up the 18th once again, and she became the first-ever Swiss winner on the LET. That meant Alexander finished in a share of fourth with another Italian amateur, Carolina Melgrati.
Alexander went birdie-bogey in her first two holes in the final round, but after that dropped shot, she didn’t put a foot wrong as she went in search of birdies to win her the tournament. She picked up shots on five and six to reach the turn in two-under. It’s more difficult to make birdies on the homeward nine, with only one par-three and the closing par-five breaking up the regularity of the seven par-fours. She picked up just one stroke on the way in, on the par-four 16th. And it was one too few, but a good week for the 2021 Joburg Open champion.
Behind her, Lee-Anne Pace started the final round with a one-stroke lead this morning and she quickly gained a three-stroke advantage when she holed her second shot for eagle on the fourth. She then birdied the par-four seventh to open up a four-stroke lead on 12-under-par. But she was unable to maintain the pressure, and she made double-bogey on the ninth, and three bogeys on the inward nine to surrender her lead. A birdie on the 18th, however, had her sign for a level-par 72 to finish off at eight-under. That was two shots back and a sixth-place finish.
Stacy Lee Bregman closed with a two-under 70 to finish level-par for the week and a share of 25th.