Dutchwoman Christel Boeljon has won the Gold Coast RACV Ladies Masters by one shot in dramatic fashion at Royal Pines today.
Starting the day three shots behind South Korean So Yeon Ryu, Boeljon held her nerve all day and critically on 18 when she sunk her 1.5m putt for the victory.
Boeljon posted a solid four under 68 to take the title over Ryu, who shot even par 72, and the fast finishing duo of Italian Diana Luna and South Korean Ha Neul Kim. All three completed their tournament on 20 under.
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. 24-year-old Boeljon however remained composed throughout. Playing with new clubs this week, Boeljon shot four under yesterday and did the same today, 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 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 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.”
Gladwys Nocera raced up the leaderboard firing off a superb eight under 64 to finish her tournament on 18 under. An eagle on the par 5 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 round of nine under 63 yesterday, Sydney’s Frances Bondad dropped out of the top ten following a disappointing two over 74 today. She finished her Royal Pines tournament in a tie for 15th on 11 under with several players including American teenager, 16 year-old Lexi Thompson.
14-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko who stated all week her aim was just to make the cut, did just that and took out leading amateur honours with a four round total of 6 under.
Next week the players will head south to play in the Australian Open at Royal Melbourne.
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