Anne Van Dam Photo: Tero Parkkinen
The Netherland's Anne Van Dam shot a closing round of 73, two over, to finish on a total of 6 under par and claim the HLR Golf Academy Open title at Hillside Golf Club in Finland on Sunday.
The 19-year-old from Antwerp started the weather interrupted final day with an eight shot lead over Kym Larratt from England and Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson. Early morning fog delayed the start of play by an hour, followed by thunderstorms late in the afternoon.
Van Dam birdied the third hole but followed up with a nervy stretch with bogeys on the 4th, 7th and 9th, which cut her lead to just five shots entering the back nine.
The Dutch player then rallied with a solid inward 36 to finish the tournament at six under par and claim her first win on the LET Access Series.
“I knew the situation all the time but it was hard to focus because of the delays and playing with a big lead. I didn’t play that well today but good enough to win. I drove the ball very well but put too much spin on the approach shots. Hillside Golf Course is a great test with tricky greens. You have to play smart to score well.”
Van Dam will now concentrate on the remainder of the LET season, starting with the Helsingborg Open, which will be played at Vasatorps Golf Club in Sweden.
“I will play in Sweden next week and hope to get as many starts on LET as possible. My goal is to play on the LET next year. I am young and want to go step by step. First I want to be a good player in Europe and after my goal is to play on the LPGA.”
Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson shot the round of the day, 67, four under par, recording 5 birdies and one bogey to finish in 2nd place on her own at 3 under par.
Local favourite Ursula Wikström closed with a two under par, 69, finishing in a tie for 3rd place alongside South Africa’s Melissa Eaton (68) at one under par, 212.
Germany’s Isi Gabsa consolidated her 2nd place on the LETAS Order of Merit, scoring a 69 to finish at even par and in sole 5th place.
Just two events remain on the 2015 schedule, with the top 5 players earning their LET cards for the 2016 season and the next fifteen players progressing to the final stage of the Lalla Aicha Tour School after the final event, the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa in October.