Rebecca Hudson and Georgina Simpson climb as Beth Allen grabs first LET title

ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters champion Beth Allen with the trophy (Picture: Tristan Jones).

ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters champion Beth Allen with the trophy (Picture: Tristan Jones).

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Doncaster’s Rebecca Hudson matched her first round of 70 in the final day’s play at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at the Buckinghamshire GC, Denham.

Hudson finished on one under for the tournament (70 74 73 70) and had threatened to climb even higher than her eventual 29th placing when she went out in three under.

She birdied holes three, eight and nine, but eight consecutive pars were followed by a bogey at her final hole.

Cleckheaton’s Georgina Simpson (75 70 77 71) also produced her second sub-par round of the tournament to finish 55th.

A bogey at the ninth, her second after one at the fourth was smoothed over by a birdie at the sixth, meant she reached the turn in one over.

However, her back nine was marbled through with no fewer than four birdies – at holes 10, 11, 14 and 16.

But 13 proved unlucky, where she dropped a shot, and like Hudson she closed with a four at the par-3 18th.

America’s Beth Allen won the title, her first on the LET tour, after Irish amateur Leona Maguire threatened to pull off a famous victory.

Maguire, the top-ranked amateur in the world, annexed a share of the lead with her sixth birdie of the day on the 17th, but her tee shot went long into a back bunker at the last and she failed to get up and down in two to force a play-off.

The 20-year-old from County Cavan had to settle for a closing round of 69 to finish 11 under par, one behind Allen who carded six birdies and one bogey in her 67.

“I’m so happy,” said Allen, who finished second in the same event three years ago after carding a triple-bogey on the penultimate hole. “I did not have a lot of expectations because I got my heart broken here in 2012 and had not made the cut since.”

Allen, who had Solheim Cup vice-captain Sophie Gustafsson as her caddie for the week, added: “I am just so pleased. I was never sure if it was going to happen. Sophie really kept me grounded and I ended up getting it done.”

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