|Henrietta Zuel and Toni Bourne, Director, Hazlemere GC |
The 21-year-old pro from Bath held off South African Ashleigh Simon with a par on the first play-off hole.
Zuel held a three stroke lead after her opening round of 65 and maintained that with a level par 70 on day two. A final round of 71 was enough to tie at four under par with Simon, who shot 68 on a final day of changeable weather conditions featuring sunshine, showers and periods of heavy rain.
Australian Rebecca Flood moved up into third place with a four under 66 on a wet golf course, with Spain’s Maria Beautell in fourth and England’s Elizabeth Bennett in fifth.
Zuel moved to the top of the LETAS order of merit following her earlier victory at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open in southern France in March.
She said: “I really enjoy the LETAS events. I think they are really well organised and friendly. Di does a great job at them. It’s useful because I’ve not been playing so much and then it’s a week on, week off on the course. It’s really nice to keep playing and keep the flow going. It’s really nice for me to be able to play at home in England. It’s more relaxed and I enjoyed the golf course and the week.”
Reflecting on her performance, she added: “The last two days I just played solid, really. It was playing a lot tougher than the first day, because of the wet it played longer and the pins were harder so it wasn’t as score-able as the first day.
“I just played solid and holed a lot of putts. Today it was a little up and down. Ash played really, really well. I was just staying in there, playing solid and we were tied going down the last. We both made par and then on the first playoff hole, I made par, hit the green, eight foot and two putted and Ash made bogey from the back of the green unfortunately, so that was that.”
She explained that her boyfriend, Mark Raven, who turned professional a month ago, caddied for the last two days and he will attend European Tour School in three weeks’ time.
With her performances on the LET Access Series, it is highly unlikely that Zuel will have to return to Ladies European Tour Qualifying School, as the top two players on the 2011 LETAS Ranking will earn membership of the Ladies European Tour for the 2012 season, while players in third to tenth positions will have the opportunity to progress to the final stage of LET Qualifying School, thereby skipping the first qualifying event.
As a three-year member of the Ladies European Tour, Zuel will take added confidence into the next few LET events in Austria, the Czech Republic and Spain and she said: “I’m really looking forward to the next two weeks and hope to carry the momentum on from this week. I’m looking forward to playing the next few events.”
The last time she won on the LETAS, Zuel tied for sixth at the next LET event, the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, which could bode well for her prospects.
She continued: “I’m just going to chill out before I go to Austria on Tuesday next week. I’m going to have a relaxing few days.”
The next LETAS event will be the Dinard Ladies Open taking place at Dinard in northern France next month.