Patricia Isabel Schmidt. LET
Dubai-based teen sensation Chiara Noja just missed out on her second Ladies European Tour title as she finished tied for second spot behind Patricia Isabel Schmidt at the Belgian Open on Sunday.
Schmidt stumbled out of the blocks on Sunday with two early bogeys but four consecutive birdies on holes six through nine put her a couple of shots off the lead and she was soon co-leader after back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13.
But it was her superb eagle on 14 which put the 27-year-old in pole position on 11-under, which was enough to seal her first title on the LET.
“I don’t really have any words to say right now! I was just so nervous on the last tee,” said the rookie, who earned her LET card through the LET Access Series last year. “I really felt like I was shaking when I had to line my putt.
“I wasn’t aware of my position at all. I saw the leaderboard out there once, but I didn’t see it clearly enough. I just saw the colours of a flag and thought it looked like a Spanish flag. The eagle on 14 was nice. I hit a really good drive and then only had an eight-iron in.
“My dad was caddieing today. He was joining me for the first time ever since I started playing golf, because I was flying to Brussels and my dad had a week off, so he picked me up and took my bag with me. I guess it all kind of worked out.
“This win will give me a lot of trust and confidence. I came from LETAS last year and played quite well. Then I struggled at the beginning of this year and put myself under a lot of pressure, so I knew okay, I need to show that I belong here instead of just playing. This will help a lot to give me that confidence.”
— Chiara Noja (@thechiaranoja) May 28, 2023
It was a good final day for Aramco Team Series Jeddah winner Noja, who produced a round of 68 with six birdies and two bogeys to move up the leaderboard.
“I explored a lot of the golf course,” said the 17-year-old. “I putted pretty decently all week. I think it was a pretty decent week, obviously not my A-game a lot of the time but I scrambled pretty nicely around the course, and I put together a good week.
“It was not meant to be today but Patricia played amazing golf and she really deserved that today. I wish I had holed that birdie putt on 18 though for outright second — that hurt.
“I seem to have a little thing about finishing second in Belgium. It’s my third year in a row, not at this tournament but I have done it twice on LET Access Series, so this has added to it. I’m looking forward to going into the next week.”