Amateur Sara Ericsson of Sweden won on the first extra hole in a play-off to secure her first LET Access Series (LETAS) title at the Vasteras Open by PadelPitch.
It was a nail-biting final day at Orresta Golf & Konferens where the local amateur started the third round as the leader, one shot clear off her playing partner and later on her play-off opponent, New Zealand’s Hanee Song.
After rounds of 70 and 67 on the first two days, Ericsson had a steady start with a bogey on the fourth and birdie on the fifth before play was suspended due to bad weather.
“I was expecting a long day so when the delay was called on, I just stayed calm,” said Ericsson, who was about to brighten up her last week in Europe before returning to college in the United States.
“It’s a bit hard to get back in the zone after a delay and I had a tough approach shot over the water ahead, but I handled it well and just fought through the rain for the rest of the round.”
As the final round resumed, the 21-year-old found the rhythm after a bogey on the seventh hole – making the turn in 37 – and rolled in two birdies on holes 13 and 15 to regain the lead.
However, a double-bogey on the par-four 16th set the Swede back, carding a final round of one-over 73 to tie the top position with Song.
In her first European start, the Kiwi kept putting pressure on the amateur throughout the round, making it all square at the turn with a score of level-par.
The 26-year-old from Auckland carded two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine to then stay patient on the final three holes, sign for a final round of even-par 72, and force play-off with Ericsson.
It did not take long for the local star to claim victory with a par on the first playoff hole.
“I was so concentrated on my game that I didn’t know it ended in a playoff. When I found out in the scoring area, I got really excited.
“This is what I play golf for – the excitement and pressure, it’s something I love, and I just enjoyed it while giving my very best which today resulted in a win,” said the champion, who led the noticeable group of seven Swedish players in the top-10.
Four of the local amateur talents tied the third place as Kajsa Arwefjall, Louise Rydqvist, Matilda Bjorkman, and Andrea Grimberg Lignell all finished at level-par.
Italy’s Clara Manzalini and Sweden’s Ellinor Sudow shared the seventh spot one stroke back.
Another Swedish amateur Elsa Svensson took the outright ninth at three-over as Germany’s Patricia Isabel Schmidt finished in solo tenth another shot back.
With her sixth top-10 finish this season, Schmidt climbed up one spot in the LETAS Order of Merit and currently sits in third with 1,178.21 points.
Germany’s Chiara Noja stays at the top of the rankings with 1,734.65 points while New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori is second with 1,332.75 points.
The LETAS season continues with another Swedish event which will be the Big Green Egg Swedish Match Play Championship in GolfUppsala.
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