|Curtis Cup amateur Pamela Pretswell of Scotland came from three shots back to claim a two stroke victory at the Ljungbyhed Park PGA Ladies Open in Sweden on Friday.|
Curtis Cup amateur Pamela Pretswell of Scotland came from three shots back to claim a two stroke victory at the Ljungbyhed Park PGA Ladies Open in Sweden on Friday.
The 23-year-old from Glasgow shot rounds of 73, 72 and 67 for a total of one under par 212.
With her victory, the Bothwell Castle player became the first amateur to win an event on the Ladies European Tour Access Series since the tour was launched in 2010.
She will now leap from 23rd position to second place on the LETAS order of merit, from which the top three players will automatically qualify to play on the Ladies European Tour in 2013 at the end of the year.
All of the top four places were taken by amateur competitors. Sweden’s Isabella Deilbert was second on one over par after rounds of 69, 73 and 72, followed by fellow Swede Linnea Ström and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen two strokes further back in a share of third.
Mary Mattson of the United States and Swedish duo Emma Nilsson and Anna Dahlberg Söderström ended in share of fifth place on four over par.
Because of her amateur status, Pretswell won’t earn the €5,062 first prize money. The first and second place prize money of €2,374 will be shared between Mattson and Dahlberg Söderström, the leading professionals.
The 2010 British Strokeplay champion Pretswell rated the victory as the highlight of her career.
“It’s massive for me and definitely my biggest achievement,” she said after her win.
“I’m thinking about turning professional and will go back to Qualifying School in January if I don’t qualify through the Access Series.
“I’m really happy because I’ve been learning a lot on tour and I’m looking forward to the next tournament. I’ve really seen the importance of how good every shot must be and you’ve to play really well.”
Pretswell represented Scotland and Great Britain in tennis from the age of five to 14 before turning to golf. She said: “I just got tired of playing tennis and wanted to try something different.”
She felt at home playing in cloudy and windy conditions in southern Sweden, which she considered similar to those in western Scotland and made a brilliant start with a pair of opening birdies. She then made a 15 foot birdie putt at the fourth to get to three under par for the round.
After holing a ten-footer for birdie at the eighth and making a good up and down at the ninth, she recorded an outward total of four under par 31.
A pair of birdies at the 10th and 12th was followed by bogeys on the closing two holes and a level par inward nine was good enough to secure the win.
Pretswell said that there would be no time for celebrations as she was heading straight to Ukraine for the GolfStream Ladies Open taking place from May 22-24 at Kiev Golf Club.
She said: “I’m looking forward to playing in more Access Series events. I’ve learned from the other girls and it’s really rubbing off on me.”