Women’s Irish Open: Smilla Soenderby wins Dromoland Castle play-off after 62

Post date:



Smilla Soenderby receives the Women's Irish Open trophy from Sport Ireland chief executive Una May
Dane Soenderby was nine off the pace going into the final round in county Clare
-16 S Soenderby (Den), A van Dam (Neth), L Pettersson (Swe)……Soenderby wins play-off; -15 K Rudgeley (Aus); -14 A Dimmock (Eng), S Kjellker (Swe); -13 D Dagar (Ind); -11 K Spilkova (Cze)
Selected others:-8 L Maguire (Ire); -7 A Hewson (Eng), C Williams (Wal); -4 S Byrne (Ire) am; -3 B Coulter (Ire) am; -1 O Mehaffey (NI), K Lanigan (Ire) am; +6 E Fleming (Ire) am
Full leaderboard

Denmark’s Smilla Soenderby won the Women’s Irish Open as she eagled the first play-off hole following her sensational closing 10-under-par 62.

Soenderby, 23, was nine off the pace going into the final day but carded 11 birdies to finish on 16 under par.

Dutchwoman Anne van Dam led by three overnight at Dromoland Castle but a 71 put her in the play-off alongside Soenderby and Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson.

The Dane cried tears of joy after her first Ladies European Tour win.

Victory atoned for Soenderby’s heartbreak at the county Clare venue last year when a three-putt par from 20 feet left her one stroke shy of the play-off eventually won by the Czech Republic’s Klara Spilkova.

Swede Pettersson, 28, had looked in a strong position to win in regulation after a chip-in eagle at the 15th was followed by birdies on 16 and 17 but a missed a fairway at the last meant she joined Soenderby and Van Dam in the play-off following her 68.

Soenderby had finished some two hours before the leaders after going into the final day seemingly out of contention.

Anne van Dam drives off the 18th tee during regulation play on Sunday
Anne van Dam’s driver snapped in a freak incident while she was being taken by buggy back to the 18th tee

There was added drama before the play-off as long-time leader Van Dam’s driver snapped when the clubhead was caught in one of the fairway boundary ropes as she was taken back to the 18th tee in a buggy.

After looking nervous in the closing stages, Van Dam composed herself to hit a superb drive with her three wood on the first play-off hole but her brilliant approach to the par-five was matched by Soenderby’s superb second shot around the tree in the middle of the 18th fairway.

With Pettersson’s hopes now over after her missed birdie attempt following a poor chip, Soenderby rolled in her 14-foot eagle effort and victory was hers when Van Dam failed with her chance from 12 feet.

Van Dam had looked set for her first Ladies European Tour win since 2019 after a second successive 66 put her three ahead of the field on Saturday evening.

Despite two bogeys in her opening five holes, the 2019 Europe Solheim Cup player still appeared in control after successive birdies at the seventh and eighth but her play became increasingly ragged on the back nine.

Van Dam holed a 20-foot par effort on the short par-four 14 following a wild drive and the latest in a number of pulled short irons on the 17th resulted in a bogey as she missed a short putt.

The Dutchwoman’s birdie at the last got her into the play-off but she was unable to add to her five Ladies European Tour triumphs.

Maguire shares 14th spot after 71

Irish star Leona Maguire, eight behind Van Dam overnight, moved to the fringes of contention by birdieing three of her first six holes but played her remaining 12 holes in two over as she finished in a share of 14th place on eight under.

Irish amateurs Sara Byrne and Beth Coulter finished tied 36th and 40th on four under and three under with Olivia Mehaffey tied for 50th on one under after a closing 75.

Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley finished fourth on 15 under following a 67 as she missed out on the play-off by a shot after failing to birdie to the 72nd hole.

England’s Annabel Dimmock and Sweden’s Sara Kjellker shared fifth a shot further back as India’s Diksha Dagar took seventh and last year’s winner Spilkova was eighth.

Credit To Owner