THE final round started at loggerheads for Azahara Munoz who was tied for the lead with fellow Spaniard Carlota Ciganda at the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina.
She rounded off the tournament with 69 to finish 19 under par, two shots ahead of Ciganda and South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace.
Ciganda and Pace both eagled the par-five 18th but it was too late to deny Munoz who admitted: “I couldn’t be any happier, defending my title on my home course.
“It’s been an amazing week and all the fans were here supporting me, so I’m happy I did it for them.”
I’ve been playing so well all week and today I didn’t play my best, especially on the back nine, but shooting an eight-under (on Friday) always helps.
She also holed a 30-footer for birdie on 14.
In an exclusive interview with the Olive Press Munoz responded to questions about how her local knowledge helped her win the course with fellow Andalucian Noemi Jimenez Martin who tied 21 finishing 5 under par.
Do you feel a sense of nostalgia to come back and play near where you grew up?
NJM: “Yes I do because I played here since I was a child and it makes it really special to play at home!”
AM: “I do. I love where I live in the states and the life I have there, but every time I come back here I actually feel complete. This is my home. And I love everything about it, my family is here, friends, food, lifestyle…”
What’s your biggest challenge in this course/tournament?
NJM: “I have to make sure I am in the moment because a lot of people are supporting us and that unconsciously piles on the pressure because I want to do well.”
AM: “I think the biggest challenge are the greens. They are quite tricky. You definitely need to be on the right side of the greens.”
How does Spain compare with other countries in terms of the overall
NJM: “Spain is a very good place for playing golf especially southern Spain because of it’s weather. The course at the moment is a very unique golf destination.”
AM: “I think Spain , especially the south, is the best place for golf. There are so many courses and the weather is amazing all year around.”
What is the one thing you miss the most about Marbella when you
NJM: “I miss my family and friends the most, but the food and culture always brings me back!”
AM: “I would have to say my family. I’m very close to them and it kills me being so far away most of the time.”