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Ladies European Tour

Another top 10 for Dubai’s teen star Chiara Noja as Kobori wins in France

By Matt Smith
Dubai youngster Chiara Noja finished in a tie for sixth as New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori clinched her second win on LET Access Series, recording a four-shot victory at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open.

The 23-year-old Kiwi sensation, who arrived in Europe only four weeks ago, started the final day one shot ahead and quickly turned that into a two-shot advantage with a birdie on the first hole.

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Kobori’s only dropped shot of the round came on the par-five seventh as she made the turn in 36 and she then rolled in three birdies on the back nine including on the last hole to card a round of 70 and finish on eight-under-par.

“It definitely helped to start off with a birdie and get myself going. Surprisingly I felt pretty relaxed today, and I had a great day playing with Hannah [McCook] and Lauren [Holmey],” said Kobori.

“Coming down the last hole I was feeling really excited about what I have been able to do this week, putting together three rounds of golf under par.

“I am very glad I was able to do it back in France again. I’d definitely be happy to come back in the near future.”

The New Zealander has had a fabulous ride in the past four weeks in Europe, adding T7 and T2 finishes to her two triumphs.

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Even though LETAS and the men’s Alps Tour held two separate events on the same golf course with pars 73 and 71, respectively, Kobori enjoyed playing alongside the men’s field this week.

She added: “We are so used to playing in just a field of us women but for me coming from New Zealand, we have a lot of mixed events as well. It’s a lot of fun to mix it up from time to time.

“It was also awesome to see many people out there watching us and the guys, a lot of kids came which is truly amazing.”

Tied for second place on four-under-par was Dutch amateur Lauren Holmey alongside Spain’s Noemi Jimenez Martin, who fired the round of the tournament a seven-under 66 on day three.

Scotland’s Hannah McCook and local amateur Lilas Pinthier finished in a share of fourth place on two-under-par with the Frenchwoman carding a final round of 70 (-3).

Two shots back and rounding out the top 10 in a tie for sixth place were Norway’s Dorthea Forbrigd, France’s Yvie Chaucheprat, Finland’s Niina Liias and German duo Noja and Patricia Isabel Schmidt.

In the men’s tournament, where the course was set up as par 71, Dutch golfer Davey Porsius shot a final round of one-under 70 to triumph by one shot with a total of four-under-par.

In the LETAS Order of Merit, Kobori now leads the standings after securing her second victory and she has 1,313.75 points having played four events.

Germany’s Noja is in second place with 1,264.25 points with Holmey in third (822.50), Clews in fourth (780.75), Kristalle Blum in fifth (740.75) and Anna Magnusson in sixth (730.21).

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