Estrel Captures KLM Ladies Open


Elisabeth Esterl from Germany fired a final round 4-under-par 68 to win the first prize on 2 under par total at the KLM Ladies Open at Kennemer GC.
Esterl began the day three shots back from overnight leader Georgina Simpson from England, who could only muster a 2 over par 74 to finish three shots back in a tie for third place on one over par with Becky Brewerton from Wales.
Spains Marta Prieto took second place outright with a final round 70 for a level par total.
Esterl, a member of the victorious European Solheim Cup team in 2002 and winner of the Tenerife Ladies Open in 2003, sprinted out of the blocks with birdies at the opening two holes to close the gap and avoiding the trouble at the sixth hole, the most treacherous hole on the course, the German birdied the seventh to move to three under for the day.
Despite a three-putt bogey at the eighth, Esterl turned in 34 and took the lead when Yorkshires Simpson turned in 4-over-par 39.
Further birdies came for Esterl at the 10th and 16th and with a faultless back nine mirroring her front nine, the Tours most nattily dressed player posted the clubhouse lead.
Only Simpson had any chance of reaching the score and with four birdies and a bogey up to the 16th, the 28-year-old was giving it everything.
But after making bogeys where she needed birdies at the final two holes, her race was over leaving Esterl with her second career victory.
I played very good, said Esterl, who adds 20 points to her Solheim Cup tally for next year.
I found my rhythm on the course today and took a couple of good swing thoughts from the range and hit the ball much better than I have been this week.
It was just a day when I had to hang in there as this is a tough course and you must be patient and thats what I needed to do to play well. Everything was solid in the swing and I like courses this tough as it forces me to play better golf.
Englands Kirsty Taylor shared fifth place alongside Linda Wessberg from Sweden and Ludivine Kreutz from France, but the news in the final round was not as good for England's Trish Johnson, who called a penalty on herself from Saturdays second round where she took a drop from a path.
Johnson was just one shot off the lead on Sunday when she discovered via playing partner Esterl who said that she did not get a drop from the path yesterday after asking a rules official, who stated the path was an integral part of the course and no drop would be allowed.
Johnson knew she had then broken the rule and in effect disqualified herself for signing for a wrong score in the second round.
I really feel for her, added Esterl, who became the second German to win around the Kennemer GC after Tina Fischer in 2000.
It goes to show that Trish is such a fantastic sportswoman and to be able to do that when you were so much in contention, just goes to show how classy she is.
And in what could be perceived to be a Midlands conspiracy, England Nicola Moult made a hole-in-one at the 11th hole when she knocked a five iron straight into the cup. But Tournament Director Phil Gibson, also from Moults home town of Sutton Coldfield, admitted to be the person who actually changed the location of the pin position prior to the final round!