By LET Access Series
Australia’s Kristalle Blum recorded her first victory on the LET Access Series and won by one stroke at the Golf Vlaanderen LETAS Trophy.
The 24-year-old walked into her last round with a one-shot lead having carded rounds of 69 and 67 on the first two days.
And the Australian extended her advantage with an early birdie on the par-five third and though Blum dropped a few shots during the round, she signed for a three-over 75 to keep her single-shot lead in front of the chasing pack of four players.
“I was very nervous the last few holes and just tried to focus on my breathing,” she said. “I had no idea where I sat on the leaderboard, so I just had to keep doing my thing and I’m glad it was enough.”
It was particularly special for Blum as she has had her brother Nick on the bag for the last three LETAS events, where she has had two top-10 finishes and a victory.
She continued: “Having my brother on the bag has been amazing, I had a tough year last year being on my own due to Covid, so having him here not only to keep me company but then get the win is incredible. He played a big part this week.”
Blum started the season with two LET starts in her homeland after which she travelled to compete on European soil.
“It’s been a massive couple of months for me and I didn’t have a big turnaround after those LET events in Australia,” she explained.
“I feel like the last 18 months have been a rollercoaster and my game has come so far. The transition was good and although I did get re-ranked on the LET, I chose to focus on LETAS and now it just really shows I’ve made the right choice.”
Before continuing her 2022 season on LETAS, the Adelaide native had already planned a week off which turned out to be the perfect timing.
She added: “I’m beyond excited, I actually head to Croatia for a few days which will be a great spot to celebrate, and then going to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley so I’ve really timed the win well!”
Only one stroke back and tied for the runner-up spot was a quartet of players including fellow Australasian, Momoka Kobori from New Zealand, who fired the round of the day with a four-under 68 to climb up the leaderboard.
“It’s been so nice this year having more of the Australian and New Zealand girls come over and play,” admitted Blum.
“It’s been just me most of the time I’ve played LETAS and seeing Momoka also win the other week definitely gave me some motivation to go and achieve the same thing.”
Germany’s Chiara Noja and the best amateur of the tournament, local star Sophie Bert both carded a final round of two-under 70 to share second place alongside France’s Yvie Chaucheprat and Kobori.
Another local amateur Savannah De Bock finished tied for sixth with Norway’s Julie Boysen Hillestad on three-under-par.
While Dutch amateur Judith van der Voort finished outright eighth at -2 total with four players completing the top 10.
England’s Gemma Clews, Sweden’s Anna Magnusson, Scotland’s Tara Mactaggart, and French amateur Lilas Pinthier all share ninth place on one-under-par.
With her runner-up finish, Germany’s Noja continues to dominate the LETAS Order of Merit standings with 1,171.25 points while New Zealand’s Kobori moves to the second spot with 813.75 points.
After her first win and three additional top-10 finishes this season, Kristalle Blum moves to fourth place with 740.75 points.