England came up short in their bid to win a fourth successive Ladies Golf Cup title as Italy produced an impressive comeback on their debut to take top honours at Spain’s La Manga Club.
England’s team of Suzi Hyne, Debbie Brown, Zeenat Nanji and Jane White had high hopes of extending their winning run when they headed to the five-star resort in Murcia, south-east Spain, and were only two points off leaders Spain and one behind Italy at the end of the first day’s play.
With each nation represented in four three-balls and points awarded on a sliding scale with the top Stableford scorer in each group receiving three points, there was plenty to play for as the competition reached its finale.
England started the final day of the 36-hole event, held on La Manga Club’s renowned South Course, in the best possible fashion with Brown taking maximum points in the first match to move the team above Italy and to within one point of the home side.
But her teammates were unable to maintain the momentum as Italy produced a storming finish to overtake their rivals and complete a memorable victory in their first appearance in the event.
Juana Asensio began the Italian charge as she took maximum points from the second match and, after teammate Olimpia Ciardi matched her feat, captain Lucia Zanetin’s second place in the final game was enough to see Italy home with 17 points, one ahead of Spain with England a further point behind.
More than 400 ladies took part in the 2013 English competition, with four winners qualifying from each country and earning a trip to Spain to enjoy the first-class facilities La Manga Club has to offer on and off the course. England's Suzi Hyne (pictured below right) from Brocket Hall Golf Club in Hertfordshire enjoyed the support of fellow members - right to left - Michelle Bereaux, Sarah Terry and Jennie Lewis Puttick, and great fun was definitely had by all!
Three times the size of Monaco, the resort remains at the forefront of Europe’s top golf destinations with three first-class courses.
La Manga Club has been the venue for numerous high-profile competitions, including the Spanish Open and Ladies European Tour Final Qualifying, while notable recent highlights include hosting the first PGAs of Europe La Manga Club International Pro-Am, the 2014 Spanish Seniors Amateur International Championship and opening a new Leadbetter Golf Academy – the only one in mainland Spain.
The award-winning complex boasts unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.