Estrel Captures KLM Ladies Open
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!
Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.
Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.
“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”
It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.
Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.
“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”
It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.
McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.
But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.
“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.
“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.
“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”
McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.
“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”
McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.
How The Open cut line is determined
Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.
The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:
• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.
• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.
• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.
The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.