Australian Rebeca Artis came from five strokes behind overnight leader Caroline Hedwall to secure her first Ladies European Tour victory at the Helsingborg Open at Vasatorp Golf Club in Sweden, 12 months ago. The 25-year-old from Coonabarabran in New South Wales fired rounds of 69, 71, 71 and 69 to post a winning total of 280, eight under par, ending a stroke clear of Hedwall. This week, Artis has returned to the course in a rich vein of form after a third place finish in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open on Sunday. With husband Geoff once again on caddie duties, she hopes to recreate the winning formula.
How is the course compared to last year?
The course is playing a little different. It’s a bit softer out there and they’ve had a bit of rain over the last week or so, so the greens are soft. The fairways are definitely softer so you don’t get as much run and it’s playing a little longer. Definitely because there’s no wind it’s playing differently to last year. The course is in great condition and the greens are rolling really good.
Which holes have changed?
They have moved a couple of tees forward, such as hole eight, which they have made into a shorter par 4, trying to encourage girls to go for it. They’ve also moved 12 forward, the par 5, so it’s playing a little shorter than last year. Last year it played really long, the tee was back and it was a good three shot hole. This year you’ll have a short wedge in, other than that, they are the only two that I really notice the difference.
What do you think of the changes?
I like the changes on eight. I think it’s good to have a short par 4 and encourages girls to go for it. It makes it a little exciting. It’s a tough green so the closer to the green you are the better you are.
I definitely think 12 needed to be moved forward, especially playing last year into the wind, it was a long par 5 and the men never play par 5s that long so I don’t think we should.
Is it more difficult this year?
The course played a little longer than last year. Geoff had last year’s yardage book and we were comparing some numbers and we definitely hit longer irons into the greens than last year. I think it played a little more difficult but it’s hard to tell because last year in the wind it was tough.
You arrived in good form.
Yes. I’ve played a far bit of golf this year on the Symetra Tour and I haven’t played unbelievable, but I turned that around in Scotland where I finished third and on the weekend and I had three under on Saturday and six under on Sunday, so my form is turning around and I’m hoping for a good week this week.