celebration at the 18th

Hjorth only had one bogey in three rounds and on Sunday, equalled the course record – set earlier in the day by England’s Lora Fairclough – after carding eight birdies, which included a grandstand finish with three-in-a-row at the closing holes.

Hjorth’s 19-under par total 197, which beat the previous record of 200 set by Trish Johnson in the 1996 French Open, was good enough for a six shot victory from Australia’s Joanne Mills, who despite a final round 68, could not put any pressure on the Swede.

And local favourite Karen Stupples from Deal also had a four under par 68 to finish in a tie with another Swede, Asa Gottmo on 12-under par.

Johnson showed a return to form after a frustrating six weeks on Tour with a closing five under 67 and shared fifth place with German rookie Anja Monke, who had a 68.

But it was Hjorth who, knowing she had the title in the bag after birdies at the 16th and 17th to forge a five shot lead, played the final hole with tears in her eyes as she made perhaps the most emotional birdie of her career to date to secure the title.

“It’s been very frustrating over the last 18 months, it’s been very hard, but you just never know when the game is going to come round again,” said Hjorth, who has been coached by Karrie Webb’s swing guru Ian Triggs on making her swing more upright and consistent.

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