Australian golfer Stacey Keating has rebounded from the “worst week of my life” to clinch her maiden title on the Ladies European Tour.
Keating birdied the first extra hole in a sudden-death play-off to deny German Caroline Masson in a thrilling finish to the Tenerife Open in the Canary Islands.
Keating holed a five-footer for birdie on the 452-metre par-5 18th hole at Golf Las Americas after she tied on nine-under with Masson.
The 26-year-old Victorian had closed with a two-under 70 to come from a stroke behind in a Sunday duel with the third-round leader in hot and windy conditions.
The pair tied for the lead after two holes and the lead exchanged several times before Masson faltered in the play-off by hitting her second shot into a water hazard.
Her third came up short in the rough while Keating hit a superb approach shot to five feet short of the flag.
“It was a tough day out there and Caroline and I both played well. It was nice to take it to a play-off and then get over the line,” said Keating.
Keating said the victory would make amends for the massive disappointment of the previous week at the Women’s British Open, where she was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score when lying in a tie for 32nd place.
“I’ve probably had the worst week of my life and the best week of my life in two weeks,” she said.
Keating paid tribute to her boyfriend and caddie Darren Peters and to the support of her mentor, Australia’s seven-times major winner Karrie Webb.
“After the disappointment of last week, she’s been great,” Keating said.
“Her and Karen Lunn, I have to mention her as well. They’ve been unbelievable.”
Fellow Australian Nikki Garrett, who led after the first two rounds, shot a final round 70 to finish in fourth place.