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Anne-Lise Caudal defeated Laura Davies with a birdie at the second extra hole of a sudden-death play-off to capture the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi on the outskirts of Munich on Sunday. On a glorious final day of sunshine, which brought record number of spectators to Golfpark Gut HÃ¤usern, both players started the day two strokes behind a trio of leaders and carded matching final rounds of five under par 67 to finish on 13 under par 275 after four rounds of regulation play.
After heading back to the tee at the 519 yard / 475 metre par-five 18th both players made pars on the at their first extra hole.
At the second time of asking, Davies' birdie putt from four metres fell just short and low of the hole, clearing the way for Caudal to roll in her birdie putt from around three metres and secure the double first prize of â‚¬52,500 and an Audi A5 cabriolet car.
"I can't believe it yet. It was an amazing week this week after a tough first round, plus two: a lot of emotion right now," said Caudal, who claimed her second Ladies European Tour title following the 2008 Portugal Ladies Open.
This was her second play-off experience after she was defeated by Rebecca Hudson at the Tenerife Ladies Open, the week after her victory in 2008 and she explained how she kept her composure by focusing on her breathing.
"I was pretty confident with my wedge. I had a wedge in my hand to hit to the pin and I just breathed a lot and tried to calm down because my heart was pretty fast. I just breathed and believed in what I'm doing," she said.
Caudal recorded a three under par outward nine with birdies at holes one, two, six and eight. Her only blemish was a bogey on the seventh. She fired additional birdies at the 10th and 11th and had a long birdie chance on 18 to win in regulation play.
Davies carded six birdies and dropped two shots, one at a crucial moment. Having carded back-to back birdies at 14 and 15, where she hit her tee shot to three feet and almost won an Audi R8 sports car, she three-putted the 16th to drop one behind the leader. She then sank an eight-footer for birdie on 18 to keep her title hopes alive.
"I played really well and I spoke to my mum this morning and said if I shoot 66 I think I'll win and I was one short of that and Anne-Lise beat me in the play-off, so at least we knew what we had to do and nearly did it," Davies said.
"I played great. The only downside was that three-putt on 16: I think if I just two-putted 16 I might have won but who knows. If Anne-Lise had to birdie the last to make the play-off she would have done.
"It's a cruel playoff to lose really, because not only do you lose the money, you lose the sub prize of a car which is very unusual on the European Tour so for whoever wins this tournament, it's a really special win. It's like a double hit, but Anne-Lise deserves it."
England's Rebecca Hudson finished in third place at 11 under after a final round of 71, with Bree Arthur, Trish Johnson and Felicity Johnson, who shot the week's low-round of 64, two strokes further back at nine under. After a brilliant performance Felicity Johnson had a chance to tie the tournament record of 63 but unfortunately dropped a shot with a three-putt bogey on the 18th green.
275 - Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 74 67 67 67, Laura Davies (ENG) 69 71 68 67
277 - Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 71 68 67 71
279 - Bree Arthur (AUS) 69 72 65 73, Felicity Johnson (ENG) 70 73 72 64, Trish Johnson (ENG) 71 69 71 68
280 - Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 68 69 69 74, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 69 74 69 68, Sandra Gal (DEU) 70 68 70 72, Caroline Afonso (FRA) 70 71 71 68, Giulia Sergas (ITA) 72 70 69 69, Sophie Gustafson (SWE) 69 72 71 68
281 - Carin Koch (SWE) 67 74 69 71, Stefanie Michl (AUT) 67 71 73 70
282 - Caroline Masson (DEU) 70 72 70 70, Diana Luna (ITA) 69 71 72 70
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