|Christel on stage after her maiden victory at National Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey.|
Christel Boeljon begins the Deloitte Ladies Open ranked No.1 on the LET’s Henderson Money List. That’s a first for a Dutch player, but can she become the second ever home winner at the 16th edition of the event?
Co-Tournament Director Liz Weima was the first and only Dutch winner of the tournament when she won in 1994 at Nijmegen.
Now 17 years later at Broekpolder, home hopes rest on Boeljon’s shoulders. After claiming her maiden LET victory at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open a month ago, she climbed to the top of the ranking with a final round of eight under par 64 for a second place finish at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open on Sunday. Following a third place finish in Portugal and a tie for fourth in Germany, it was her fourth top-five finish in as many events.
“I don’t feel any extra pressure playing at home in my own country. Pressure is only something that you put on yourself,” Boeljon told a group of 20 gathered journalists.
“Every tournament, I start with the goal of winning: the same this year and last year. This is just one of the tournaments on the tour, so it’s the same routine. The only difference is there is a little more interest in me this week.”
Boeljon claims that her performance at last year’s event, which was named the ABN AMRO Ladies Open, where she missed the cut, had nothing to do with the additional scrutiny from fans and the media. “Last year had nothing to do with pressure. I was not feeling fit,” she said, via translation.
“I’ve always had fun playing golf and played because I wanted to, not because my parents made me play. I really wanted it for myself. I also played hockey as well but chose golf. I love this life: playing in tournaments and it gives me satisfaction.”
Looking ahead, the 23-year-old from Beverwijk added: “If I play like this then I might play in more tournaments in the States but for now my goal is to play well here. There are a number of tournaments coming up, such as the British Open and Evian Masters. The Evian Masters is a tournament I’ve always wanted to play and now I finally will.”
Her main goal remains to earn a spot on Europe’s Solheim Cup team when the event is played at Killeen Castle in Ireland in September. Eight players will qualify from a combination of points and the World Rankings, with four Captain’s picks.
“The Solheim Cup is an important one. I’m second on the ranking at the moment and I want the chance to have a few more top 10s in the coming weeks to solidify my position. It ain’t September yet!”
The overall impression was that she was happy with her game and relaxed heading into the 54-hole tournament, where her previous best finish was a tie for 10th at Eindhovensche in both 2007 and 2008.