Blomqvist Wins on Ladies European Tour


Remetesgpuszta, Hungary -- Just ten months ago, Minea Blomqvist was still playing junior golf as she represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup. But after battling her emotions during the final round of the OTP Bank Ladies Central European Open in Hungary, the 19-year-old came of age as a professional, becoming the sixth first time winner on the Ladies European Tour this season and the first rookie to win on the LET since 2001.
Blomqvist carded a final round 1-under-par 70 to win on 14 under par, four shots clear of New Zealander Gina Scott and Swedens Emma Zackrisson. But it was not the stroll in the park at Old Lake GC in Tata which everyone expected after her opening rounds of 62 and 67 suggested she would walk away with the title.
The Finn admitted to being tense out on the course and the birdies which came fast and furious over the first two rounds had all but dried up as she turned in 1 over par after a bogey at the third hole.
Virginie Auffret from France, who finished tied for fourth place with compatriot Karine Icher, closed the gap to a shot after she eagled the 13th to reach 12 under par, but Blomqvist, who kept a note of the leader boards at every available opportunity, found her putting touch again with birdies at the tenth and 14th.
Auffrets challenge ended with a bogey at the 15th and a double bogey at the final hole, but Zackrisson provided some pressure towards the end with a flurry of birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th. Sadly for the big hitting Swede, she also endured a double bogey at the last hole to fall back into a share of second.
Blomqvist had no idea that the Swede had dropped those shots at the final hole and after an errant tee shot at the tight 18th, the Finn caught her five iron approach heavy and came up 30-yards short of the green.
It was only then I realised I when I looked at the scoreboard next to my ball I had a four shot lead and then the tears began, explained an emotional Blomqvist, who had the Hungarian gallery in raptures as she made a gritty up and down for par with her eyes almost bloodshot from the tears.
Last night, we went out to eat and I just couldnt eat anything as I was thinking that this was my dream if I should win. I knew it was going to be a tough day out there after about six holes and I was so tense. I was fine at the beginning but as the round got longer, I knew it would be a hard day.
Ive dreamed of this moment all my life. This was my goal this year and I still cant believe Ive won on the European Tour. I have always tested myself and try to make my goals and now it has come true.
Some of the gallery have already compared the Finn to world number one Annika Srenstam and they have even called her Minni Annika. And that will be the Finns next item on her agenda after the Weetabix Womens British Open at Sunningdale when she will play the Swede in a 9-hole challenge match in Finland on August 2nd.
Now Im really looking forward to that now I have won. Its going to be so much fun playing my idol, added the Finn, who becomes the third youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour aged 19-years and 128 days.