Davies quick to set sights on double

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The Independent Online

reports from Evian, France

Britain's Laura Davies left her challengers grasping for a life-saving raft as she surged to the 36th victory of her career with a closing round of 67 in the Evian Masters here on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Davies compiled a brilliant 17-under-par aggregate of 271 which left her five strokes clear of Annika Sorenstam, the Australian Open champion from Sweden. Catrin Nilsmark, another Swede, was third, one stroke behind, with Alison Nicholas from Yorkshire in fourth place.

What more can Davies achieve? A winner's cheque for pounds 40,630 took her earnings from yet another staggering season to more than pounds 414,000. It was her third victory of the year, which has barely reached the halfway stage.

For once there were no grumbles about slow play. Davies, in the last match of the day, completed the course in 3 hours and 15 minutes. "It was superb and I enjoyed playing at that pace. That is how golf should be played," said Davies, who deplores the time it takes for a round of tournament golf.

Davies has now achieved her first goal of the year: to win on both side of the Atlantic. Where now? She tops the money list on both the American and European Tours. "It would be nice to complete the double," she said after admitting her final round "was the best I have played all year."

Scores, Sporting Digest, page 21