Germany’s Karolin Lampert, once one of the best ranked amateurs, overcame difficult weather conditions to win her first professional title at the Azores Ladies Open.
The 21-year old remembers well her runner-up spot at the 2013 Portuguese International Amateur, when she was ranked 14th in the world amateur ranking.
Two years later, Lampert arrived at Terceira Golf Club and once again felt a good omen.
"I love to come to Portugal, we spent many holidays here and I like the atmosphere in this country," she said, after a total score of 214 shots, 2 under par, the only player to break par over the 54 holes of the tournament.
It was a come from behind victory. Lampert was tied for 5th after 18 holes, with 71 (-1); climbing into 2nd (-3) through 36 holes after a second round of 70 (-2), and eventually winning with a 73 (+1) final round.
"It is without a doubt my most important victory, because it's my first professional title and I'm proud of it," said Karolin Lampert, who was four shots back at the start of the third round.
It seemed the leader after two rounds, Englishwoman Emma Goddard, had a sizeable lead, but Karolin Lampert realised she had a chance.
"It was a difficult situation, to recover four shots, but she drove out of bounds on the 2nd hole and I thought maybe she was getting a little nervous. In this situation, with bad weather, the few hours stop, it is necessary to be very patient, and she lost a little bit of her game and I was able to do it, to be calm and to play my game, but it was a fight all day”.
As an amateur, Lampert played for six years on the German national team and had some outstanding results, with wins in the EGA International Championships in Germany, Spain, France (Under 18), in the European Club Trophy, she was runner-up at the Amateur World Team Championships and played the Junior Solheim Cup in 2013.
“I won some tournaments when I was an amateur and I felt comfortable in this situation being in the last group.”
Overnight leader Goddard had the worst of starts to the final round with a double-bogey on the 2nd, followed by a bogey on the 3rd and a triple-bogey on the sixth, closing with a round of 80 (+8), for an aggregate of 217, 1 over par, tying for 3rd place with Brazilian Victoria Lovelady, Jamila Jaxaliyeva from Kazakhstan and the Spanish amateur Luna Sobrón.
Goddard’s collapse allowed Finn Krista Bakker to move into 2nd place, thanks to the best last round of 68 (-4), the only player to break the par of 72.
Lampert’s victory qualified her for the WPGA International Challenge next week in England, the last tournament of the 2015 LETAS calendar. "I did not get in and I'm really happy to have qualified to compete in England before the qualifying school in December," said the St. Leon Rot Golf Club member, where the Solheim Cup was played two weeks ago.
Overcoming difficulties is not something new to Karolin Lampert. After a great amateur career, she went through LET qualifying school at the end of 2013, competed on the LET last year, but this year played four tournaments and missed all the cuts. She decided then to play the LETAS events and failed to make a single cut in 10 tournaments before, finally, emerging in the Azores Ladies Open.
"I have been working hard, I changed my coach two months ago, I did some different things. My new coach believes in me and he was telling me it was about time, because he had been very happy with my first two rounds. When I made the cut, the first of this year, he told me to keep going, he knew I could do it”.