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Ellen Smets wins LET Q-School

Ellen Smets of Hasselt , Belgium , snatched victory from Sarah Kemp of Australia at the Ladies European Tour's Qualifying School for the 2006 season.

Both Smets and Kemp finished tied at four-under-par 288 after the final round at La Cala Resort near Malaga , but Smets took the medalist honours after a final round count back.

She carded a final round two under par 71 to follow rounds of 72, 72 and 73, while Kemp had a 73 after opening rounds of 72, 70 and 73.

Thirty players earned their full cards on a total of 301 (+9) to play on next season's Ladies European Tour, while the remaining 19 players will receive conditional playing privileges.

Smets began the day with a double bogey at the third hole but quickly bounced back with birdies at holes four and five. She then bogeyed hole-seven and birdied hole nine to make the turn at level par 37.

On her back nine, she had four birdies at holes 10, 11, 15 and 18 and two bogeys at holes 13 and 14, to come home in 34 and effectively win the title.

Smets, who has been a competing on the LET for three seasons, finished 92 nd on the 2005 Exemption Money List and decided to return to Qualifying School to try to improve her playing category. 

“I didn't come here to win. I just came here to boost my playing opportunities but this feels absolutely incredible,” said Smets, who finished 92 nd on the 2005 Exemption Money List.

“Now I have my full card for next year I can relax a little bit and this will give me some confidence for the year ahead. I can relax and try to stay positive.”

“This week I really enjoyed playing, which I haven't done for a while. Now I can go home and work on my putting over the winter.”

Kemp, who was leading the tournament at five-under-par until she dropped a shot with a three putt at the tenth hole, was relieved to earn her full Tour card, despite losing out on the official first position.

“It feels fantastic to earn my Ladies European Tour card, I'm over the moon,” she said.

Sophia Renell of Sweden and Anna Rawson of Australia, the third round leader, finished tied for third position a shot further back at three-under-par 289.

Seven players were tied for 30 th position after 72 holes. Anna Temple of the USA earned the 30 th and final qualification spot for full playing privileges after a sudden death play-off in which she chipped in for birdie at the second extra hole.

November 24, 2005

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