What a thriller! Ladies European Tour (LET) Q-School 2022. 8. December 2021 to 20. December 2021 - nine rounds of Golf (Pre-Qualifier: 4 rounds, Final Qualifier: 5 rounds). Venue: La Manga Golf Club, Spain.
It was this time of the year - Luisa's quest for a LET Tour membership continued at the 2022 LET Tour School. More than 150 players in the Pre-Qualifier - first step: Finish inside the Top 75 to go through to the Final Qualifier and for a chance to receive a LET Tour Card for the 2022 season. Solid Golf over 4 rounds, +3, +3, even Par, +3, was enough to secure a spot in the Final Qualifier, 3 Shots clear of the Cut-Line.
After one day of rest and another two practice rounds the Final Qualifier commenced with 125 players - now including those players from 2021 LET Tour who were not able to finish in the Top-80 of the previous season as well as the 75 players that made it though the Pre-Qualifier. Another 4 rounds were to be played, followed by a Cut, leaving the Top-65 players to compete for the LET Tour Cards in the final round.
Luisa got off to a bad start in the first two rounds. The putts just wouldn't go in. Very good shots were simply not rewarded on the greens (only one birdie in 2 rounds) and some annoying three-putts were not adding to the level of confidence. The rounds of 76 (North Course, +5) and 77 (South Course, +4) made it seem unlikely that Luisa would be able to reach the Top-50 and therefore be eligible for Category 15 Membership in the 2022 LET. But giving up is simply not an option...
Every day Luisa was the last on the putting green to improve her speed control on the difficult greens at LaManga Golf Club. She only left after there was no daylight left. And in round three it started to pay off.
With a total of five birdies Luisa was able to turn things around with a 69 (-2), leaving her at a total of +7 heading into the fourth round, two shots outside the Top-65 which would allow her to play the final round. Starting round 4 with a birdie fired up hope, which seemed to be shattered after a water ball on the Par-3 third hole resulting in a triple-bogey. But Luisa's mental strength allowed her to continue to stick with the game plan and the improved putting in very windy, sometimes stormy conditions led to more birdies, leaving Luisa just one shot outside the Cut-Line with 3 holes to play. Then, a sneaky, downhill, 12-foot putt brought the needed Birdie! Cut made - on the number!
Final round, 3 shots behind the Top-50 spot. What else to do then give it your best? Making the turn at -1 raised the hopes. Pressure was rising when Luisa hit an enormous drive on the Par-5 6th hole, allowing to reach the well-guarded green in two. But it was to turn out way different than expected: Luisa caught the next one very heavy due to a downhill-lie which saw the ball bouncing way in front of a creek guarding the green. But the direction was perfect: The ball rolled over a tiny bridge and came to rest in front of the green-side bunker. A sigh of relief, then a great pitch and putt, birdie!
On to the last hole of 2022 Q-School. According to the live scoring, a Par was needed to secure a spot in the Top-50. Filled with adrenalin, the approach went over the green, ending up in an extremely difficult spot. But Luisa came up with a fabulous flop shot that almost went in, leaving a mere tap-in to secure a T-39 Finish! What a day, what a round of Golf!
Next year: Ladies European Tour! A great achievement and we are all excited for Luisa's Rookie-season! Keep your fingers crossed that Luisa gets the chance to participate in many tournaments! The Category 15 will hopefully get her some starts on the Tour. Stay tuned for more to come in 2022!