Christel Boeljon walked away from Sunday’s ShopRite Classic with her best finish in five seasons playing the LPGA, and yet there was still a cruel twist to it.
Boeljon finished second after missing a birdie putt that looked less than 2 feet at the 18th hole.
It’s the shortest miss with a trophy on the line in an LPGA event since I.K. Kim missed a 14-inch putt that could have won her the Kraft Nabisco three years ago.
Boeljon ended up finishing one shot behind Anna Nordqvist.
With Nordqvist in the final group just behind her, Boeljon set up over what amounted to a tap-in birdie at the last hole. She jabbed it right, off the lip. It dropped her two shots behind Nordqvist at the time, instead of one. Moments later, Nordqvist missed her approach shot to the left at the 18th and failed to get up and down. She made bogey.
Instead of marching to a playoff with Boeljon, Nordqvist marched to the trophy.
“I saw she missed the putt on 18, but I didn’t know what it was for,” Nordqvist told reporters afterward. “She must have hit a really good shot in there.”
Boeljon said she wasn’t looking at leaderboards and did not know where she stood coming to the last hole.
“I did not,” Boeljon said in her post-round media interview. “I knew I was doing good. When the camera is right in front of you, you know you're doing good. So I knew I was maybe tied for the lead, close to it, but, yeah, I didn't want to think about all that. I just wanted to play my shots.”
About that last missed short putt?
“You hope to make the last putt, but I’m pleased with my week,” Boeljon said.
Boeljon said she was going to leave ShopRite focused on how her game’s turning around. She came into the week having missed four of her last six cuts with no finish better than T-38 this season. The finish is a big boost for her Olympic and Solheim Cup hopes for the Netherlands and Europe.
“I should try my best and not let this mean more than it is,” she said. “This was a good week of golf, and it was really important for me because I was getting close to playing good golf.”