A BREAKTHROUGH triumph on the Ladies’ European Tour (LET)ensured the worst week of Stacey Keating’s life had a silver lining.
The Cressy golfer is today celebrating her maiden victory on the prestigous tour after she survived a play-off to win the Tenerife Open on the Canary Islands.
Keating, 26, shot a final-round 70 to finish with nine-under-par 279, equal with German Caroline Masson, at Golf Las Americas.
She sunk a 1.5-metre putt to birdie the first play-off hole, the 452-metre par-five 18th, and rise to ninth on the money list with more than $135,000.
“It was a tough day out there and Caroline and I both played well,” she said. “It was nice to take it to a play-off and then get over the line.”
The Tenerife Open win meant Keating experienced the best and worst moments of her career just over a week apart.
She was disqualified from her second British Open eight days earlier when she signed an incorrect scorecard while tied for 32nd after her second round.
A few soul-searching days followed, but she bounced back in the best possible fashion with rounds of 70, 69, 70 and 70.
“I’ve probably had the worst week of my life and the best week of my life in two weeks,” she said.
More than 18,000 kilometres away at Cressy, Keating’s father Neville Keating said he was rapt for his daughter.
Neville, who followed the tournament online with his wife Ann, said Keating was “still pretty sad on Wednesday” following the British Open.
“She’s had a fair bit of reassuring words come from fellow players,” he said. “Karrie Webb took her out to dinner last Saturday night and tried to quieten her down a bit, and Karen Lunn has been very good.
“It’s one she’ll remember for a long time.”
Across at Lismore, grandparents Clive and Lorna Bustard were also celebrating the win.
Clive said the couple received late-night phone calls from family members delivering the news.
“It gave her a big lift after she got disqualified. I was worried she would drop the bundle,” he said.
“Karrie Webb said to her ‘don’t worry, that happens’.
“Stacey said ‘it’s all very well for you, Karrie, I get into the biggest tournament of my life and I stuff it up’.
“She’s bounced back. To win one, she’s done not too bad. She’s perservered,” he said. “I’ve never seen anyone practice like her.”
Keating turned professional at the end of 2010 via the LET’s qualifying school in Spain.