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 who plays on both the Ladies European and LPGA Tours, where she recorded a runner-up finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in May. Boeljon dominated from start to finish with rounds of 69, 69 and 71 over The International in Amsterdam.
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At 10 under par, Boeljon ended four strokes clear of Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and Danish rookie 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.
Although Boeljon is not among the top-ranking European players in terms of her Rolex Ranking — she’s 99th — or in terms of LET Solheim Cup points, this win could grab Carin Koch’s attention as she shops for her four Captain’s Picks for this year’s Solheim Cup edition.
"“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 leaderboard.
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. By the 10th Ursula Wikstrom had cut her lead to a single shot but Boeljon went back to work, quickly birdied the 11th and 12th and then held steady through several downpours.
Pedersen showed glimpses of her star potential with a final round of 70 that included 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. We’ll see more of this promising rookie.
Wikstrom recorded her third top ten of the season and her fifth second place finish in 12 years on the Ladies European Tour.
"“I saw that I was close at one point but I couldn’t get it happening. . . 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, July 2-5, a fine tournament in its own right and a run-up to the Ladies Scottish Open and then the Ricoh Women’s British Open.