Golf: Demise and rise of Lunn

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The Independent Online
KAREN LUNN from Australia started the new season in the same manner she signed off last year when she beat Sandrine Mendiburu, of France, at the second hole of a sudden-death play- off to win the KRP World Classic over the Kelab Rahman Putra course here yesterday.

Lunn, winner of the Slovenian Open at the end of last year, endured a day of fluctuating fortunes before handing in a final round of 73 for a two-under-par 286, which Mendiburu matched with a brave closing round of 69.

Lunn had started the final round one stroke clear of Britain's Lisa Hackney and four ahead of Mendiburu. With birdies at the third and fourth she reached the turn in 34. When Lunn added another birdie at the 10th she was now five strokes ahead of the French golfer but suddenly Lunn's game fell apart. Unluckily she found an almost unplayable lie in a bunker at the 11th, which cost her a triple-bogey seven. Lunn then dropped three strokes over the next four holes.

A superb nine-iron to four feet gave Lunn the birdie she needed at the 17th. She then capped this by finding the centre of the hole from five feet for another birdie at the long 18th to force a play-off.

Mendiburu saw her first professional victory escape when at the second extra hole, she hit her three-wood second shot into the water to run up a seven.

KRP WORLD CLASSIC (Kuala Lumpur) Leading final scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 286 K Lunn (Aus) 69 70 74 73; S Mendiburu (Fr) 72 72 73 69 (Lunn won at second extra hole). 290 K Lasken (US) 71 78 70 71; A Nicholas 76 70 72 72. 292 S Strudwick 77 69 73 73. 293 L Fairclough 73 74 76 70; L Davies 76 70 73 74; L Hackney 71 74 69 79. Selected: 296 D Reid 74 73 77 72. 304 T Johnson 79 77 74 74. 320 K Douglas 80 84 75 81.