Germany’s Esther Henseleit clinched the Skafto Open title for her maiden professional victory, on the LET Access Series, after an exceptional five-under-par round of 64 on the Swedish course. The 20-year-old from Hamburg finished the tournament on 11-under-par, one shot clear of Sweden’s Lynn Carlsson who made a late charge for the crown on the island of Skafto.
The German was in the final group with England’s Charlotte Leathem and experienced Swede Linda Wessberg; the trio all starting the day on six-under. Henseleit started in perfect fashion with a birdie at the first to quickly overtake her playing partners on the day. The youngster then made a further three birdies on the front nine to reach the halfway point at –10 with some breathing space on the chasing pack.
Whilst the final group made their way round the course, Swedish pair Lynn Carlsson and Sofie Bringner were rapidly climbing the leaderboard putting significant pressure on the early leaders. Carlsson hit a majestic five-under front nine, including a stunning eagle on the Par-4 4th, lying nine-under for the tournament which at that point put Carlsson at the top of the leaderboard. A one-under back nine followed leaving the Swede with the clubhouse lead at minus 10.
After a disappointing two-over opening round of 71, Bringner has played some superb golf with a round of 63 on Friday before shooting a 64 in the final day’s play. The home favourite hit seven birdies, including three in the last four holes, to make a late charge for the Skafto crown. Finishing nine-under, two behind the German winner, Bringner will be kicking herself for leaving two much of a gap to close after day one.
Whilst Henseleit maintained the form that saw her remain in the top three positions throughout the tournament, her playing partners struggled on the final day. LETAS rookie Leathem could only manage a one-under round of 68. A double-bogey at the par-3 fourth followed by another dropped shot at hole-6 dented the Briton’s momentum as she fell back into fourth. Despite a tough final day, Leathem will count this tournament as a success and looks in good shape to reach her goal of three top-5 finishes in the 2019 campaign.
Going down the back nine, Henseleit looked in total control with two further birdies at 11 and 15 giving the German starlet a two-shot lead on clubhouse leader Carlsson. Things became a little nervy late in the round however as the youngster dropped a shot at the tricky 17th as her lead fell to just one shot. On the final hole, Henseleit showed the champion qualities that has seen her claim six top-10 finishes on the Ladies European Tour this year, where she is the leading rookie and ranked third on the LET order of merit. As she hit a sweet drive that led to a comfortable par and the chance to see her name inscribed onto the trophy – her first taste of success on the LET Access Series.
Next week, the LET Access Series heads to France for the Montauban Ladies Open at the prestigious Golf de Montauban l’Estang with a 40,000 Euro prize fund and increasingly vital points in the Road to La Largue.
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The Solheim Cup
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