Melissa Reid took the first title of the 2017 Ladies European Tour season, the Oates Vic Open, after beating Germany’s Sandra Gal in a sudden death play-off at Beach Golf Links in Australia.
On a blustery afternoon in Barwon Heads, which saw winds gusting up to 30mph, the lead switched hands several times before Gal set the clubhouse lead at 16 under par, after firing a final round 69.
Reid had a chance to win on the 72nd hole, after hitting a three-wood to the front of the green on the par-5 18th, but took three putts from long range to send the tournament into extra time.
On the first play-off hole, both players made par, after Reid once again took three putts from the edge of the green, with the second extra hole almost being a carbon copy of the first. The third time around, Gal hit her third shot just over the back of the green and failed to get up and down, leaving Reid with a three-foot putt to win.
The 29 year old from Derby, who had led by two shots after the third round, holed out confidently to earn her sixth Tour title and the first prize cheque of AU$75,000.
After winning her first ever play-off, Reid said: “It was brutal out there. That’s one of the toughest winds that I’ve had to play in, especially with the start that I got. I didn’t feel I’d hit a bad shot in the first five holes, so to be three over after four was unreal. It was a true test of golf, and brought a lot of character out in me, so I’m over the moon that I managed to get the win.”
Reid, who will be playing in Europe and America this season, after winning her card at the LPGA Tour’s Q School, added: “I’ve got a good feeling about this year. It was my mum’s birthday on Tuesday, so I knew that something good had to happen. We were warming up on the putting green and my mum’s favourite film was Dirty Dancing, and they were playing the theme tune to Dirty Dancing, and I said to Benji, ‘I’ve just got a feeling about this week, it’s fate, you know?’