Emma Spitz booked her spot in the US Women’s Open in style by rising to the top at the Qualifier at Naxhelet Golf Club in Belgium.
The Austrian secured medallist honours with rounds of 69 and 70 for a five-under total.
It will be a second appearance at the US Women’s Open for Spitz, who made her debut at the championship in 2020 while still an amateur, and her first appearance as a professional.
“I’m super happy,” said Spitz. “If someone told me I was going to do this after nine holes on Friday last week, I would not have believed them. I was very close to going home and I’m glad I stayed.
“I had a long talk with my coach after the round and we figured something out. That’s how golf is, one day you think you can’t hit a single shot anymore and the next you play 36 holes and you’re going to the US Women’s Open. It’s crazy, but I’m really excited.
“It’s my dad’s 60th birthday party soon and I don’t have a present for him, so I was thinking about what to get him. Me and my boyfriend thought about tickets to Pebble Beach before this, and now he can come with me.”
England’s Alice Hewson also got her ticket to the 78th US Women’s Open Championship, which will be held from July 6-9.
The 25-year-old produced rounds of 71 and 70 to finish in second place and it will also be a debut in the Championship for the LET winner.
“I’m really excited,” said Hewson. “I was happy to get the job done, especially straight off the back of finishing the tournament here in Belgium. I’m really happy how I held myself together on the last few holes. I didn’t really see any scoreboards which was helpful in that situation.
“I have never been to Pebble Beach before. It changes my plans a little bit for this season, I’ll adjust a couple of events but I’m more than happy to do that for this opportunity. I think my whole family is coming with me. I’m so excited and really happy that the whole family should be able to be there with me.”
At the end of 36 holes, it was Finland’s Elina Nummenpaa and Belgium’s Manon de Roey who shared third place on two-under-par.
However, with three qualifying spots up for grabs, the duo headed back to the 18th tee for a playoff and it was home favourite De Roey who made a par on the first playoff hole which was enough to seal her place at Pebble Beach.
De Roey, who will be making her US Women’s Open debut, explained: “I feel unbelievable! I could not even have imagined this at the start of today. To do it in Belgium as well, I’m stoked and so excited.
“Today was very stressful, the first 18 I didn’t play so well but the second 18 I was up and down with eagles and double bogeys and then I found out I had to play another hole.
“I wasn’t that nervous on the tee in the playoff and I hit a good tee shot and then I wasn’t that nervous on the approach to the green, but the two putts I was quite nervous because I knew it was going to be really close.”