Klara Spilkova won the Women’s Irish Open after a three-way play-off at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic birdied the par-five 18th to defeat Nicole Broch Estrup and Ursula Wikstrom, both of whom made pars. The trio finished on 14 under par after a dramatic final day.
With a packed leaderboard, multiple players made their way on to the final green with a chance to move into at least a share of the lead. Denmark’s Smilla Soenderby had an eagle putt that would have moved her to 15 under, but she three-putted and did not even get into the play-off. Ireland’s Leona Maguire was one of four players to finish one shot back after a 68, including a birdie on 18 when she needed an eagle to make the play-off.
Before claiming her first win in five years, Spilkova, 27, birdied the last to card a round of 67, while Wikstrom forced her way into the extra holes with four birdies in the final five holes. The 27-year-old came into the day having recorded rounds of 66, 68 and 73 on her opening three days.
And Spilkova had a tough start with two bogeys in her first five holes, but she also made three birdies to make the turn in 34. Back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 saw the Czech player put herself right in the mix before another birdie on 16. A miraculous par-save from the edge of the water at 17 gave Spilkova the momentum and she finished her day with a birdie on 18 which at the time put her in the lead in the clubhouse.
“I have to admit that yesterday was a bit of a struggle,” said the winner, whose last title victory came at the Lalla Meryem Cup in 2017. “On eight and nine I made some bad swings, and I struggled throughout the back nine, I saved a lot of putts out there. Today it was a totally different approach, I felt much calmer. It has been a while since I’ve won, but I have been playing really well recently, so I knew that I had it in me to win.”