- The Dane fired a round of 62 (-10) on the final day
- Soenderby jumps from 48th to 19th in the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol
It was a spectacular final day for Smilla Tarning Soenderby as she secured a dramatic playoff victory at the 2023 KPMG Women’s Irish Open.
The Dane headed into the final day in a tie for 21st place after rounds of 71-67-72 on the first three days at Dromoland Castle.
The trio headed back to the 18th hole for the playoff where the 23-year-old reached the green in two and sunk her eagle putt to secure her maiden title on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
“I’m not quite sure what happened in the playoff! I hit a good drive,” said the newest LET winner. “It was a very long drive compared to the first round there.
“Then I had 178 and just wanted to hit a 5-iron to the middle of the green and missed it a bit left. It sounded like I almost holed it and then the putt went in. I didn’t think my score was enough when I got into the clubhouse, but it turned out to be enough.
“It is redemption, after the 18th last year I said I’m okay to not be in the playoff because I’m not sure I’m ready to be in that position and I’m ready for it now.
“It means so much. I could see first that I had been in that position last year, so I knew how to handle those emotions and feelings on the 18th fairway, so I knew what to do and I did it. Well done to Lisa and to Anne as well.”
Earlier in the day, Soenderby got off to a hot start with birdies on the first, third, fifth, seventh before adding another on the ninth to make the turn in 30 (-5).
The Danish player continued to build her momentum rolling in three more on the trot on 10, 11 and 12 before dropping her only shot of the day on 14.
However, she soon picked up where she left off with birdies on 15, 16 and 18 to finish with a flourish and set the clubhouse lead on 16-under-par.
“It is my best round; I think what went the most right was in my head and the mental game for sure,” she explained.
“It wasn’t my best ball-striking ever at all, I maybe hit two good shots striking wise. I was just in play from the tee, and I hit them onto the greens, and I hit some good putts and out of nowhere I was 10-under.
“I love this place, it’s probably my favourite place to be. I was really looking forward to it, I…