Santander Pro Ladies Spanish Championship 2023
Nuria Iturrioz wins the Santander Pro Ladies Spanish Championship 2023 at Lauro Golf at -6
Heading into Friday's final round, María Parra (-4) and Nuria Iturrioz (-3) were several strokes clear of the others after carding the best rounds of 69 (-3) on Thursday.
After day two, Nuria Iturrioz (-3) said she wanted to win the Santander Spanish Women's Professional Championship "yes or yes, and if it's not this year, next year". She didn't have to wait that long, as on Friday she emerged victorious from a fierce duel with María Parra (-5), the worthy runner-up.
After day two, María Parra (-4) said "It was an incredible round. It's been a long time since I've had a round without a single mistake, without bogeys. I played very well, very calm, with a very good game and a good atmosphere. I'm grateful for that. On top of that, these days I have the support of my family: yesterday my father was there, today my aunt and uncle and my mother... My home is about an hour's drive away," said María Parra on her return to the clubhouse.
"I played very solid off the tee, with good drives. The irons, which is what I'm struggling with the most, are working very well this week. I have a lot of confidence, and that shows, because when you're like that you see the flag and go for it. I'm training hard and well. The last round I will play with Nuria [Iturroz], I know her very well, she is an impressive player, it will be a nice duel with her and the others".
Mallorcan Nuria Iturrioz was happy at Lauro, a course where she was joint winner in 2019 with Maria Parra, runner-up in 2023. Nuria Iturrioz started the day one stroke behind María Parra and was tied with Mireia Prat (-2), the third player to finish the week under par. Nuria made four birdies in the first five holes to turn the leaderboard around.
María Parra didn't give in to the success of her rival and friend since they met at the National School of Blume; three birdies in seven holes helped her to keep up the pace. It became clear that this tournament was going to be a battle between the two.
The second nine proved more difficult than the first, especially when it started to rain. On the 11th, a par 3 where both Nuria Iturrioz and María Parra found themselves within a metre of the flag, only Nuria managed a birdie.
On the 13th, María Parra regained the lead after Nuria Iturrioz got into trouble running to the left, a mistake that ended in a double bogey. The lead changed hands again on the 14th when Maria from Guadiaro San Roque hit a bunker and then missed her first putt.
The two players were neck and neck going into the final three holes. On the 16th, María Parra missed a putt of one and a half metres. This proved to be decisive. She did everything she could to regain her position on the 18th with a fabulous drive, undoubtedly one of the best shots of the week. It fell just short and this was her last chance to catch Nuria Iturrioz, who was very solid in the final stages of the round.
Nuria Iturrioz (Spanish Champion with 210 strokes, -6)
"I'm very happy. It's a title I've always wanted to have in my trophy cabinet and now I have it with me, finally! I had to go tight from the start because María made it very difficult for me. I also wanted to equal or improve my record on this course, and it was going well.
On the back nine it was more difficult to make birdies because it started to rain, but despite that, the level we played at was very good. This is a course that I like a lot, it's a bit like my home. Lauro is familiar, with a good atmosphere and good energy. There is a very good aura.
Life is in stages. In 2019 I gained a lot, I've had a time when it was more difficult and here I am again. You grow, discover new things and move forward to find that optimum moment again. I hope it lasts until 2024.
I dedicate this victory to my family, my coach and those who always surround me and help me. And of course to Piti (Martínez), who has been my caddie for the last two months and has given me a lot of positive energy".
About the Santender Golf Tour - Lauro Golf 2023
The Santander Women's Professional Spanish Championship 2023 final event began on Wednesday 29th November at Lauro Golf (Alhaurín de la Torre, Málaga), the final event of the Santander Golf Tour 2023 calendar. Twenty-eight golfers, including twenty-five professionals and three top amateurs.
The defending champion of Lauro Golf is Teresa Toscano from Huelva. Previous winners of the tournament are Luna Sobrón and Mireia Prat. Luna, winner in 2018, 2019 and 2020, has the experience of fifteen tournaments on the LPGA, while Barcelona-born Mireia, winner in 2021, already has three Santander Tour victories under her belt. This makes her the winner of the circuit's Order of Merit.
Nuria Iturrioz will be riding on the momentum of her victory in the La Sella Open, an event with a prize fund of one million euros, the biggest prize in the history of women's golf in Spain.
Marta Martín arrives with the LET Access Seriesa title under her belt. The Madrid-born player will be looking to add to her victory in the Czech Republic with another on home soil. María Herráez and Amaia Latorre have also lifted trophies - twice - on the Santander Golf Tour.
The three amateurs taking part in Lauro are Claudia Lara, Sara Moreno and Keira Gonzálezr.
About the Santender Golf Tour
The Santander Golf Tour is a women's professional golf circuit held in Spain since 2016, taking over from the Banesto Tour, which had been held since 2009. Players accumulate points at each event for the Tour's annual ranking. The Santander Golf Tour is open to national and international professional women golfers, as well as top amateur players. The tournaments on the Santander Golf Tour are played in different formats, the most common being 36 holes of stroke play in two days of 18 holes each. The Tour is recognised by the Ladies European Tour and the Royal Spanish Golf Federation. The tour is organised by Deporte & Business Sports Marketing.
The Santander Golf Tour typically holds about 8 to 10 events in Spain from March to November of which about two are in Andalucia.
2016 Club Zaudín Golf, Sevilla, 25-26 May
2016 RCG Guadalmina (campo sur) 08-10 July
2017 Club Zaudín Golf, Sevilla, 19-20 October
2018 Mijas Golf, Malaga 24-27 July
2018 Real Club Golf Sevilla 5-6 September
2019 Lauro Golf, Malaga 11-12 April
2019 Real Club Golf Sevilla, 3-6 September
2020 Lauro Golf, Alhaurin el Granda, Malaga. 20-22 October
2021 Lauro Golf, Alhaurin el Granda, Malaga. 16-17 June
2021 Real Club Golf Sevilla, 2-4 December
2022 Golf Torrequebrada, Malaga 21-23 July
2022 Real Club Golf Sevilla, 30 Nov to 2 December
2023 Sherry Golf, El Puerto de Santa Maria, 4-5 May
2023 Lauro Golf, Alhaurin el Granda, Malaga. 29 Nov to 1 December