Boeljon delights Dutch crowd

Christel Boeljon delighted the Dutch galleries as she became only the second home winner in the history of the Deloitte Ladies Open.

The 27-year-old gave a dominant performance as she led from start to finish with rounds of 69, 69 and 71 over The International in Amsterdam.

At 10 under par, Boeljon ended four strokes clear of Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and Danish rookie professional Emily Kristine Pedersen, giving the Dutch fans the result they had waited for since Liz Weima won the tournament at Rijk van Nijmegen in 1994.

“This is a big one,” said Boeljon, after collecting her second Ladies European Tour trophy as an individual, following the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in 2011, the year she was also a member of Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup team in Ireland.

“To be able to do it, leading from the start in front of a home crowd in my home country means a lot and it’s something that I will never forget.”

Boeljon shrugged off the squally weather conditions over the three days, including rain, wind and low temperatures and said that she rarely checked the leader boards.

“I did not look at the leader boards until 17, when I realised where I stood and that gave me a good feeling. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, it was pretty solid when I needed it so to be able to rely on a good short game and have my putter behave, was great,” she said.

Three ahead going into the final round, Boeljon moved four clear of the field with a birdie on the first hole, but stalled with a bogey on the fifth. After her advantage was cut to a stroke by Ursula Wikstrom after 10 holes, Boeljon quickly birdied the 11th and 12th and then held steady through several downpours.

Another steely performance came from Pedersen, who showed glimpses of her star potential with a final round of 70, including three birdies on the back nine. The 18-year-old’s joint runner up finish was her second top ten from three tournament appearances following a seventh place finish at the Turkish Airlines ladies Open. Due to take her final high school exam next week, in Danish language, Pedersen has not yet been able to focus on golf full-time.

She said: “I’m very happy because I’ve been so stressed with exams and I have my last one on Wednesday. It’s just great to be done and after that I’ll be able to focus only on golf. I’m so happy that I got it together this week. I hit it close both yesterday and today but I figured out the par fives more. The last two rounds I had no birdies on the par fives and I had three today. I just made a couple more putts but it was a solid game. You have to go for them in two and don’t lay up!”

Wikstrom recorded her third top ten of the season and her fifth second place finish in 12 years on the Ladies European Tour. Despite being one stroke behind the leader after 10 holes, she was unable to capitalise on her chances coming down the stretch. She said: “I saw that I was close at one point but I couldn’t get it happening. I made birdies on nine and ten but after that I made a bogey on 11 and was lipping out all the time, so I was playing okay but just didn’t get the momentum going and didn’t make enough birdies. It was a bit frustrating to get the ball so close to the hole.”

A stroke further back in fourth on five under par were South African Stacy Lee Bregman, Frenchwoman Lucie Andre and Austrian Christine Wolf, who had her career best finish. English pair Rebecca Hudson and Holly Clyburn tied for seventh on four under par with Swedish rookie Lynn Carlsson and Melissa Reid finished in solo 10th on three under, earning more valuable Solheim Cup points.

The 2015 Ladies European Tour now takes a one week break before the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in a fortnight’s time.