Kirsten Rudgeley

The Ladies European Tour (LET) was back on the road last week as it headed to Ireland for the KPMG Women’s Irish Open.

Dromoland Castle was the picturesque venue once again and there were 30,000 fans in attendance across the week.

There were 27 rookies teeing it up last week and after the first round, it was American Gurleen Kaur who was closest to the top of the leaderboard.

Kaur, who was playing her second LET event of the year, fired a round of 66 (-6) on the first day to be in a tie for second place with Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley just one shot further back.

On day two, the American rookie continued to play well posting a round of 69 (-3) to be in a share of second place on nine-under-par heading into the weekend.

While Kaur was one of 16 rookies to make the cut as she was joined by Rudgeley in T10, Switzerland’s Tiffany Arafi in T13 with France’s Nastasia Nadaud, Austria’s Emma Spitz and Italy’s Alessandra Fanali in T19.

Thai duo April Angurasaranee and Trichat Cheenglab both made it through, as did Sweden’s Sara Kjellker, Norway’s Julie Boysen Hillestad and Renate Grimstad, Germany’s Patricia Isabel Schmidt and Alexandra Försterling, Czechia’s Sara Kouskova, England’s Amy Taylor and South Africa’s Cara Gorlei.

In the third round it was rookie Kouskova who put on a show firing a bogey-free round of 64 (-8), which at the time was the round of the week to climb up to a tie for third place.

While Rudgeley carded a round of 68 (-4) to put herself in T5 and Kjellker shot a 66 (-6) to move into T9.

It was a good final day for Rudgeley and Kjellker as they each recorded their best-ever finishes on the LET.

The duo both fired rounds of 67 (-5) on day four with Rudgeley ending the week in fourth place on 15-under-par – just one shot away from making the playoff – while Kjellker was one shot further back in a tie for fifth.

Speaking after her final round, Rudgeley said: “I’m proud of myself, it’s my first year. I’m happy I went back home as it sorted a few things out. It was a solid week; I didn’t do too much wrong. It was my first time in this situation as well and good to be able to push all the way to the end. I loved it and it was good to be in contention.

“I was lucky enough to travel the world as an amateur and play in these big events, I didn’t really feel too much pressure and just tried to play gold and make as many birdies as possible.

“It was nice to have my dad on the bag this week and have him give me feedback. Golf is golf, anything can happen. I just hope to keep doing the right processes and we will go from there.”

In the 2023 Rookie of the Year standings, Thailand’s Cheenglab continues to lead the way with 817.72 points with Germany’s Schmidt in second with 601.54 and Thailand’s Angurasaranee in third with 576.33.

With her fourth-place finish, Rudgeley has jumped up to fourth in the standings and now was 484.57 points and is closely following by Italy’s Fanali (451.34), France’s Nadaud (425.53), Germany’s Försterling (402.82) and Sweden’s Kjellker (400.25).

Next up for our first year graduates is a trip to Hilversumsche Golf Club for the Big Green Egg Open. Follow all the action on @LETGolf on Instagram and Twitter and Ladies European Tour on Facebook and YouTube – #RaiseOurGame.