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Minea Blomqvist gains first LET victory

Just ten months ago, Minea Blomqvist was still playing junior golf as she represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup. But after battling her emotions during the final round of the OTP Bank Ladies Central European Open in Hungary, the 19-year-old came of age as a professional, becoming the sixth first time winner on the Ladies European Tour this season and the first rookie to win on the LET since 2001.

Blomqvist carded a final round one under par 70 to win on 14-under par, four shots clear of New Zealander Gina Scott and Sweden's Emma Zackrisson. But it was not the stroll in the park at Old Lake GC in Tata which everyone expected after her opening rounds of 62 and 67 suggested she would walk away with the title.

The Finn admitted to being tense out on the course and the birdies which came fast and furious over the first two rounds had all but dried up as she turned in one over par after a bogey at the third hole.

Virginie Auffret from France, who finished tied for fourth place with compatriot Karine Icher, closed the gap to a shot after she eagled the 13 th to reach 12-under par, but Blomqvist, who kept a note of the leader boards at every available opportunity, found her putting touch again with birdies at the tenth and 14 th .

Auffret's challenge ended with a bogey at the 15 th and a double bogey at the final hole, but Zackrisson provided some pressure towards the end with a flurry of birdies at the 13 th , 15 th and 17 th . Sadly for the big hitting Swede, she also endured a double bogey at the last hole to fall back into a share of second.

Blomqvist had no idea that the Swede had dropped those shots at the final hole and after an errant tee shot at the tight 18th, the Finn caught her five iron approach heavy and came up 30-yards short of the green.

"It was only then I realised I when I looked at the scoreboard next to my ball I had a four shot lead and then the tears began," explained an emotional Blomqvist, who had the Hungarian gallery in raptures as she made a gritty up and down for par with her eyes almost bloodshot from the tears.

"Last night, we went out to eat and I just couldn't eat anything as I was thinking that this was my dream if I should win. I knew it was going to be a tough day out there after about six holes and I was so tense. I was fine at the beginning but as the round got longer, I knew it would be a hard day.

"I've dreamed of this moment all my life. This was my goal this year and I still can't believe I've won on the European Tour. I have always tested myself and try to make my goals and now it has come true."

Some of the gallery have already compared the Finn to world number one Annika Sörenstam and they have even called her 'Minni Annika'. And that will be the Finn's next item on her agenda after the Weetabix Women's British Open at Sunningdale when she will play the Swede in a 9-hole challenge match in Finland on August 2 nd .

"Now I'm really looking forward to that now I have won. It's going to be so much fun playing my idol," added the Finn, who becomes the third youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour aged 19-years and 128 days.

OTP Bank Ladies Central European Open - Hungary

Old Lake Golf & Country Club
16 th - 18 th July 2004

Final Scoreboard       
199  - Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 62 67 70

203  - Gina Scott (NZ) 67 69 67, Emma Zackrisson (SWE) 68 65 70

204  - Virginie Auffret (FRA) 68 66 70, Karine Icher (FRA) 66 67 71

205  - Kirsty Taylor (ENG) 71 69 65, Anja Monke (GER) 67 69 69, Cecilie Lundgreen (NOR) 66 67 72

206  - Martina Eberl (GER) 70 68 68, Laurette Maritz (SA) 68 68 70

207  - Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 67 71 69, Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 69 69 69, Maria Hjorth (SWE) 69 67 71, Jenni Kuosa (FIN) 68 65 74

208  - Alexandra Armas (ESP) 70 71 67, Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 68 70 70, Stefanie Endstrasser (Am) (AUT) 68 70 70

209  - Sarah Bennett (ENG) 71 69 69, Veronica Zorzi (ITA) 68 72 69, Karen Lunn (AUS) 71 70 68, Nina Reis (SWE) 71 69 69, Helena Svensson (SWE) 68 70 71, Anne-Marie Knight (AUS) 69 68 72, Raquel Carriedo (ESP) 67 69 73

210  - Laura Cabanillas (ESP) 69 71 70, Nienke Nijenhuis (NL) 71 69 70, Stefania Croce (ITA) 69 72 69, Lara Tadiotto (BEL) 69 70 71, Alison Nicholas (ENG) 73 66 71, Federica Piovano (ITA) 69 69 72, Elisabeth Esterl (GER) 67 76 67

211  - Suzanne Dickens (ENG) 73 67 71, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 67 72 72, Simone Morgan (ENG) 73 69 69, Georgina Simpson (ENG) 70 69 72, Barbara Paruscio (ITA) 71 68 72, Monica Cosenza (ITA) 71 71 69, Susan Parry (USA) 69 74 68, Nicole Stillig (GER) 73 70 68, Marine Monnet (FRA) 65 69 77, Filippa Helmersson (SWE) 70 73 68

212  - Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 70 70 72, Judith Van Hagen (NL) 70 69 73, Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 71 71 70, Marta Prieto (ESP) 66 73 73, Wendy Dicks (ENG) 70 72 70, Sophie Giquel (FRA) 70 72 70, Sara Beautell (ESP) 72 70 70, Tullia Calzavara (ITA) 69 68 75, Jane Leary (AUS) 72 71 69, Vibeke Stensrud (NOR) 73 70 69, Bettina Hauert (GER) 74 69 69

213  - Elizabeth McKinnon (Am) (NZ) 72 69 72, Julie Forbes (SCO) 67 74 72, Trish Johnson (ENG) 71 71 71

214  - Nathalie David (FRA) 75 66 73, Nicole Gergely (Am) (AUT) 70 70 74, Natascha Fink (AUT) 72 70 72, Geraldine Brown (AUS) 69 73 72, Ellen Smets (BEL) 73 69 72, Eva Steinberger (Am) (AUT) 72 71 71, Carina Vagner (DEN) 71 72 71, Fany Schaeffer (FRA) 71 72 71

215  - Katie Bakken (USA) 70 71 74, Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 68 75 72

216  - Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN) 69 73 74, Celestine De Vos (BEL) 70 73 73

217  - Carlie Butler (AUS) 73 69 75, Nina Karlsson (SWE) 70 73 74

218  - Joanne Oliver (ENG) 71 72 75

219  - Kirsty J Fisher (ENG) 70 72 77, Alison Munt (AUS) 71 72 76

223  - Naima Ghilain (BEL) 70 72 81

228  - Edita Nechanicky (Am) (CR) 69 74 85

 

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