The denouement of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle ended in drama when Anne Van Dam had her driver snapped in two by a spectator rope as she was driven back to the 18th tee in a buggy to take part in a three-way play-off for the title.
As it turned out, Van Dam still managed to reach the green on the par-5 hole in two, despite having only a 3-wood to tee off with, but she lost the play-off, which also included Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson, after only being able to make a birdie to against Smilla Tarning Soenderby eagle, which secured the Dane her first LET title.
Soenderby headed into the final day in a tie for 21st place after rounds of 71, 67 and 72, but the 23-year-old powered up the field on Sunday with a 10-under-par 62 to post the clubhouse lead on -16, a score later joined by Van Dam and Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson.
Dutch star Van Dam held a three-shot lead going into the final round but had an up and down day with four bogeys and five birdies on her card for a 71, but one of those birdies came at the last to make it a three-way playoff. Pettersson who had an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys on her scorecard for a round of 68. In the playoff, she also found the green in two but her second shot rolled down the back of the green and she was unable to make her eagle or birdie putts.
Victory provided redemption for tSoenderby, who three-putted the last green in this same event last year to miss out her first win. “It means so much. Last year I could barely grip my putter, whereas this year I was more calm. I just knew how to handle it.”
She added: “I’m not quite sure what happened in the playoff. I hit very long drive and had just 178 yards in. I wanted to hit a 5-iron to the middle of the green but missed it a bit left. It sounded like I almost holed it and then the putt went in. I didn’t think my score was enough when I got into the clubhouse, but it turned out to be enough.”