By Ladies European Tour, More >>
Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands came from three strokes behind overnight leader So Yeon Ryu to claim a one stroke victory at the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters.
A final-hole birdie from around five feet meant the European Solheim Cup player earned her second Ladies European Tour victory with rounds of 66, 65, 68, and 68 for a 21-under-par 72-hole total at the par 72, 5954 Metre RACV Royal Pines course on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Meanwhile a level par round of 72 saw Ryu, the US Women’s Open champion, slip into a share of second with Diana Luna and Ha-Neul Kim, who both shot 67.
Two days ago the talk at Royal Pines was who was going to catch Ryu, after the reigning US Open champion fired off an eleven under 61 giving her a commanding four shot lead heading into the weekend.
But the 21-year-old, who admitted to being tired after her 61, struggled over the final 36-hole stretch posting just seven birdies and four bogeys in the last two days.
Boeljon, 24, remained composed throughout. Playing with new clubs, Boeljon shot four under on both Saturday and Sunday, not once appearing intimidated by Ryu’s credentials or the situation.
Sharing the lead with Ryu down the final stretch, the Dutchwoman was able to make two brilliant up and downs on holes 15 and 16 to importantly stay in the lead with the South Korean.
Again as she headed up 18 there were four players all on 20 under, and Boeljon knew a birdie on the par-five final hole would do it. After reaching the green in two and with Ryu in the greenside trap, Boeljon left her eagle putt 1.5 metres short.
“My first putt, I was not really happy: it was a bit far away for my liking,” she told ABC TV.
Ryu flew her bunker shot way over the pin leaving her a very long birdie putt.
“I was better make a two putt and birdie and then it might be mine,” Boeljon said.“It’s not over ‘till it’s over. I am really happy I finished with a birdie and it’s unbelievable.”
Gwladys Nocera raced up the leader board firing off a superb eight under 64 to finish her tournament on 18 under. An eagle on the par -five third and a string of four birdies on the last five holes gave the Frenchwoman outright fifth place.
England’s Felicity Johnson and South Korea’s Bo-Mee Lee shared sixth on 15 under, while Lindsey Wright and Nikki Campbell were the only two Australians to finish in the top ten, tying with American Danielle Kang in eighth place on 13 under.
After a great third round of nine under 63, Sydney’s Frances Bondad dropped out of the top ten following a disappointing final round of two over 74. She finished the tournament in a tie for 15th on 11 under with several players including American teenager, 16 year-old Lexi Thompson.
New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, 14, who stated all week her aim was just to make the cut, tied for 32nd and took out leading amateur honours with a four round total of six under.
Next week the players will head south to play in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne.