(Thursday 15th January 2009) -- Exactly 30 players qualified for category 8a membership of the Ladies European Tour at La Manga Club in Spain on Thursday. They have all earned the right to play on the LET in 2009.
Sweden's Anna Nordqvist, the 2008 British Amateur Champion, won the event with a four-round total of 279, 13-under-par after rounds of 75, 69, 67 and 68.
Norqvist said that she would now join the Tour. "I'm very happy as this was my goal and it proves that I can play good golf and hit good shots."
The six-foot Swede, who turned professional at the beginning of the year, added that she was hoping to make Alison Nicholas' 2009 European Solheim Cup team that will travel to the United States in August. "I'm just going to play as well as I can and that might be good enough to get into the team. That would be great but if not I will work hard to get into the next one."
Australia's Frances Bondad finished three shots back in second place after a final round of six-under 67, which was the lowest score of the day. She was thrilled to have rediscovered her confidence after a frustrating rookie season in 2008, when she finished in 88th position on the New Star Money List. She now feels ready to take on Europe.
"I think I wasn't confident last year because of all the travelling and everything involved with it being my first year. I didn't know anyone; I was away from home and didn't have a coach so was fixing it all myself. I had problems with caddies as well. I think I'm wiser now, happier, more confident and more mature. I've grown up a lot since last year when I was a little fish in a big pond and I know what to do now," she said. She highlighted her new putting routine as the key to success as well as the work she has done with her new coach Bruce Burrows and sports psychologist John Novak.
Scotland's Lynn Kenny, who finished third on seven-under-par, also credited her new coach, Kevin Craggs, who she previously worked with four years ago.
She said: "Everything seems to be clicking into place. Kevin is doing a great job. I feel like I am back to my old self and I really wanted to thank him." Kenny also had the benefit of Rafael Armand on the bag for the tournament, who is normally European No.1 Gwladys Nocera's caddie, but is also Kenny's boyfriend.
Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands finished a shot back in fourth place and was one of nine amateurs to earn their full cards. New members also looked set to include Scotland's Krystle Caithness, who was joint seventh, Breanne Loucks from Wales, French player Barbara Genuini, Ireland's Tara Delaney, England's Holly Aitchison, Florentyna Parker and Denmark's Malene Jorgensen.
Australia's Bronwyn Mullins Lane, who was the first player to achieve category 10b for last year, earned her full card in category 8a, finishing on the cut-off mark of 298, seven-over-par for the tournament.
Players who finished in positions 31-55 will be offered membership of the tour in category 10b and may not compete every week. However last year Mullins-Lane made 21 starts from 29 tournaments.