Broch Larsen wins Helsingborg Open
Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen defied high winds on the final day to clinch her first Ladies European Tour victory in the Helsingborg Open in Sweden.
A four-stroke leader overnight, the Dane closed with a two-over 75 to finish at 12-under par, a stroke clear of South African Ashleigh Simon with fellow Dane Malene Jorgensen a shot further back in third.
Nicole Broch Larsen (Credit: LET)
After three birdies in her first six holes, Broch Larsen held a commanding seven-stroke lead but the combination of the conditions and the situation brought the 22-year old back to the field – double bogeying the 13th and three-putting the 17th to reduce the lead to two with a hole to play.
Simon almost holed a bunker shot on the 18th which would have made life very interesting but a tap-in bogey from Broch Larsen was just enough to seal the first prize of €37,500 and a place in next week’s Evian Championship in France.
“It was close. I got very nervous in the end,” Broch Larsen said, “I played well at the start but the double bogey set me back. On the last four or five holes I was very nervous because I didn’t get into the flow today.”
The win made up for the heartbreak of narrowly missing victory in Pilsen three weeks ago.
“This win couldn’t come at a better place, here in Sweden, with a lot of guys from home and after my second place in the Czech Republic, it’s just amazing.”
Simon’s 72, in winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour, was highly impressive and was almost enough to steal the title.
“It was really tough out there today. I just ground it out, was really happy to shoot under par.” Simon said.
“The last few holes were particularly tough, playing really long. I hit two 3-woods and my short game, I hit some really good chips coming down the last few holes to save me so I’m happy with the score.”
Aussie Rebecca Artis had a chance to record another high finish in an excellent season to date but slipped to a 77 in the conditions to tie for 18th at one-under.
Whitney Hillier (T35th) and Stacey Keating (T45th) also struggled on Sunday as the remaining Australian players in the field to complete all four rounds.
Six Australians – Artis, Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee, Sarah Kemp, Sarah Jane Smith and Su Oh – will take their place this week in a strong field bidding for the final major of the season at The Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France.
Broch Larsen moves to fourth place on the LET Order of Merit with €169,591.41 overtaking Australia’s Rebecca Artis, who moves back to fifth place with €152,656.70.