Chris­tine’s story has a happy end­ing

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

RE­LIEVED:

birdie. The deed was done, the wrong re­versed, redemp­tion was sweet and with it came her first Ladies Euro­pean Tour tri­umph.

What the rest of the chas­ing pack could or couldn’t do didn’t mat­ter. Fo­cused through­out and com­plet­ing a bo­gey-free run for 44 holes in the $500,000 event, the Aus­trian’s 3-un­der 69 on pres­sure day earned her a com­fort­able, heart­warm­ing win.

It was a happy out­ing for her cad­die Ajay too. He texted her even at Christ­mas time last year, still reel­ing from the dis­ap­point­ment, blam­ing him­self. “Well I told him the only thing you could have done dif­fer­ently was hit that shot for me. He is su­per ex­cited as well.”

Sleep did not come easy overnight for the 30-year-old from the Aus­trian moun­tain vil­lage of Igls in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the climb. “I woke up a few times. Last night I was talk­ing to my fam­ily and my boyfriend. I was ner­vous but they said a few things to me that just calmed me down. I just wanted to en­joy.”

While chal­lenger Mar­i­anne Skarp­nord notched up three birdies on the front nine, Chris­tine was al­ways two steps ahead, sink­ing three of her own. The Nor­we­gian en­dured a frus­trat­ing back nine in the heat of the af­ter­noon with a bo­gey on the 15th, and missed a small birdie on the 18th. The Euro­pean No. 3’s twounder 70 for a to­tal of 8-un­der was good enough to seal sec­ond place. The wil­lowy Meghan MacLaren be­gan the round just one stroke back Wolf but three bo­geys till the 11th put paid to her hopes of mak­ing a charge. The English­woman re­cov­ered with two birdies but her par out­ing could only re­turn a to­tal 7-un­der for third place.

All were merely sub-plots. The pri­mary theme was Wolf ’s quest, and her steady path to the trea­sured tro­phy.

Am­a­teur Anika fin­ishes 5th, Tvesa 6th

Puja time turned to be aus­pi­cious for Anika Verma, who is named af­ter the god­dess. For the 15-year-old, the power lies within, hav­ing men­tally im­proved on the course af­ter un­der­go­ing the process un­der coach Noah Mont­gomery in the US. The am­a­teur did not miss a sin­gle reg­u­la­tion till the 15th, where she con­ceded a dou­ble. By then, the Noida girl had al­ready chalked up three birdies, and with an­other one on the par-3 16th, she re­turned a card of 70 for an un­forseen high-5.

The nerves were there, she ad­mit­ted, but play­ing with the friendly duo of Emma Nils­son and Manon De Roey helped her loosen up. “I was en­joy­ing the round so that helped me play well.”

One place be­hind was Tvesa Ma­lik, who earned the ap­plause with a chip-in from off the green on the 18th. “I missed a lot of putts so that wasn’t a great part of my game. I def­i­nitely wasn’t ex­pect­ing that birdie to hap­pen at all so it was a ple­sant sur­prise.”

The 23-year-old from Noida be­lieved she was on the right track, and with two LET events to go, she wants to build on the con­fi­dence she gained on her home course. “I’ve learnt a lot this year and my game has pro­gressed. We’ll see how it goes.”

It cer­tainly went well for Tvesa and Anika this week.

Fi­nal scores: 277 (13-un­der) - Chris­tine Wolf (Aut) 73-68-67-69 ($75,000); 280-Mar­i­anne Skarp­nord (Nor) 68-7171-70; 281-Meghan MacLaren (Eng) 67-73-69-72; 282-Whit­ney Hil­lier (Aus) 67-71-72-72; 285-Anika Verma (Ind-am) 76-72-67-70; 286-Tvesa Ma­lik (Ind) 72-72-71-72 (T-6th).

TOI

Chris­tine Wolf with the tro­phy on Sun­day

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