LET Access, 31 May 2019: Spain’s Maria Beautell secured her maiden victory on the LET Access Series with a one shot victory over Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen and Scotland’s Rachael Taylor. The Spaniard shot a brilliant four-under 68 to end the tournament at -6, and was overjoyed to take the title at the Swiss course:
“I feel like I’m in a dream right now. It was an amazing day for me. I just played great golf, I was so calm and focused all day. When I got to the 18th green I didn’t know if I was going to win or not, I hadn’t looked at the leaderboard so it was a lovely surprise when I heard them all clapping.”
The 38-year-old has been working hard on her mental approach to golf, having missed two cuts in quick succession earlier in the season, and reaped the rewards at the Golf de Lavaux this time around.
“I’ve been working on keeping as calm as I can on the course, just accepting what comes and breathing a lot just to keep calm and peaceful. And today that’s what I tried. I just kept doing one shot at a time and I felt very peaceful out there it was great.”
Beautell’s victory was all the more impressive after the experienced Spaniard managed to forget her clubs, only realising once she arrived at the course.
“I was in a bit of a rush, packing everything, just to make sure we got everything in the car, rushed to the golf course and I packed the suitcase, the golf cover thing, everything! And when I got to parking, I just realised I left the clubs, just by the door! I had to laugh, I couldn’t get stressed or anything about it so I think it actually made me feel more relaxed.”
The Tenerife resident was +2 through 11 holes of her second round, seemingly well out of the running. But in what has been a dramatic tournament of twists and turns, Beautell found a hot streak with the putter, making four consecutive birdies from holes 12 to 15 and found herself in the top 10 at -2 at close of play. Beginning day three where she left off, Beautell hit three birdies on the front nine, before bringing it home with a steady one-under-par back nine to secure a stunning comeback win.
“I hit a lot of great shots on the front nine especially and then on the back nine I didn’t hit that many that were close to the pin. On the front nine I left them much closer and had lots of birdie chances. I think that last shot on the last hole… it was almost in the bunker but not quite, just on the edge, and it was a tricky lie. But, I hit the amazing shot, right close to the pin, and that made me relax a little bit and I had a nice birdie opportunity.”
Diksha Dagar continued her good run with another top twenty finish against her name. The teenaged Indian shot scores of 70, 75 and 72 to end the week at one-over 217 and T19.
Astha Madan was equally impressive. She recovered from a first round 76 to score an even 72 in both the second and third rounds for an impressive result. Madan finished in T29 with an overall score of 220.
Beautell has been close on several occasions on LETAS and was extremely emotional at having finally overcome some of the demons that have held her back in the past.
“For me it means a lot, it’s been a few years where I’ve struggled a little bit and you always tell yourself just keep working hard, be patient, and it’ll come. But sometimes, you don’t lose hope, but you think ‘could something good happen?’ and today it just did, everything just came together.”
The LET Access Series heads to Finland next week for the Viaplay Ladies Finnish Open in Lahti. Finland’s own Sanna Nuutinen, runner-up this week, and fourth-placed Niina Liias both look set to mount a challenge at their home event with only an inspired Beautell preventing a victory at the Swiss course this time around. With a busy few weeks ahead for the players, June looks set to be a key month to secure the much-needed points in the season defining Race to LaLargue.