The WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa, not only produced its winner but also decided the top five players, who will progress directly to the Ladies European Tour.
The final event of the LET Access Series, the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa, not only produced its eleventh first time winner of the season but also decided the top five players, who will progress directly to the Ladies European Tour for the 2015 season.
The LET Access Series graduates are, in qualifying order: Emma Westin from Sweden (1), Lina Boqvist of Sweden (2), Daisy Nielsen from Denmark (3), Isabella Ramsay of Sweden (4) and Tonje Daffinrud from Norway (5).
Denmark’s Daisy Nielsen won the final event, the WPGA International Challenge, cementing her place on the order of merit in 3rd place. The 20 –year-old has enjoyed a very solid season with a further six top ten finishes, two of which were runner-up positions in the Open Generali de Strasbourg in France and the Grecotel Amirandes Ladies Open played in Crete.
“It’s just amazing, it’s so nice I don’t have to go to Tour School. It’s been great to play on the Access Series this year, everyone is so nice, I’m just so happy.”
Sweden’s Emma Westin topped the LETAS order of merit, with a record breaking three tournament wins, which has not been achieved before in the Series’ five year history. Westin won the Solvesborg Ladies Open hosted by Fanny Sunesson in Sweden, the week after she missed her only cut.
Further wins came in the HLR Golf Academy Open in Finland and the Mineks & Regnum Ladies Classic in Turkey. With a further five top ten finishes, including finishing tied 8th at the WPGA International Challenge, Westin remained ahead of her fellow countrywoman Lina Boqvist, who finished 2nd on the order of merit.
“It’s amazing, I can’t describe my feelings right now, it’s cool.” On her goals for her first year on the Ladies European Tour, she said: “Just getting a lot of experience and having a really good season.”
Boqvist, a winner of the Onsjo Ladies Open, enjoyed an extremely consistent season, with just one missed cut and only one placing outside the top 20 in 15 starts. The Swede also finished her season strongly with a fourth place finish at Stoke by Nayland.
Sweden’s Isabella Ramsay was one of three players who won multiple times in 2014, winning the Kristianstad Ahus Ladies PGA Open in her home country and the Royal Belgian Federation LETAS Trophy. Ramsay recorded a further seven top ten finishes during the season to secure her place in fourth on the order of merit.
She said: “It feels so good, I really can’t believe it and that the season is done and everything is over. I am flying home tomorrow and I am going to meet my family and we are going to have some champagne.”
Fifth place was occupied by Norway’s Tonje Daffinrud. The 23-year-old enjoyed a remarkable finish to her season, recording back-to-back wins at the Azores Ladies Open and the Grecotel Amirandes Ladies Open. Daffinrud had received an invitation to compete in the LET’s Cell C South African Women’s Open but decided to play in the final event of the LETAS season, in an effort to move from 7th on the order of merit and into the top five.
Daffinrud was conscious that she would need to finish in the top four places to guarantee her place in the all-important top five positions on the order of merit. The Norwegian started strongly, tying for the lead after nine holes with Nielsen, but admitted to feeling some nerves over the final nine holes, which she played in 2 over par, 38. Her third place was still good enough to secure the fifth and final qualifying spot.
Daffinrud commented, “It feels amazing and unreal. I don’t have words for it, it feels so good. I didn’t really feel any pressure until the back nine. I was really calm and settled on the front nine and I was playing really well and not that anything changed but I knew that a lot was at stake. I just tried to keep cool and play one shot at a time but it definitely hit me on the back nine a little bit.”
In addition to the top five players on the LET Access Series Order of Merit earning their Ladies European Tour cards, a further fifteen LETAS players also progressed to the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School, which takes place over the Samanah and Al Maaden Golf Courses in Marrakech, Morocco from the 17 – 21 December.
Those players include Caroline Rominger, Vittoria Valvassori, Melanie Maetzler, Maria Beautell, Emma Nilsson, Marta Sanz Barrio, Laura Murray, Melodie Bourdy, Charlotte Wild, Kiran Matharu, Georgia Hall, Kym Larratt, Carmen Alonso, Jane Turner and Anna Rossi.