Derrey enjoys maiden LET victory in Belek
Özgür Korkmaz BELEK – Hürriyet Daily News
Valentine Derrey putts the ball at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. AA PhotoThe Turkish Airlines Ladies Open played in Belek over the weekend and was a delight for France’s Valentine Derrey, who claimed her first victory on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The 26-year-old scored a final round of three-under 70 in hot and breezy conditions at the National Golf Club to end on a three-round total of seven under par, with Denmark’s Malene Jorgensen second on five under after a closing 73. England’s Charley Hull made a late charge for a second straight LET victory when she birdied the 14th and 15th, but she bogeyed the par-3 16th after hitting her ball to the left of the green and had to settle for third place on four-under after a 72.
Scotland’s Vikki Laing had been second overnight but carded a three-over 76 to finish joint fourth with Russian Maria Balikoeva, who had a 72.
“It’s awesome! Finally! Last year I finished on the podium three times so I’m finally the winner,” a cheerful Derrey said of her success. She had four birdies and one bogey in the final round and caught overnight leader Klara Spilkova at seven-under after making a long breaking putt for a birdie on the 13th green.
EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was one of the firstto congratulate
the successful golfers.
The winner was presented her trophy by Trukey’s EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who in his speech thanked the organizers and promised more support from official institutions for future events. “I am also happy to tell you that [Turkish Airlines Chairman] Hamdi Topçu has just told me the company will double its contribution for the next year and I believe that the total prize money will increase,” the minister said at the ceremony.
Golf as a mission
It was the sixth time the LET visited National, and the club is eager to host the players again next year.
“We have taken on golf as a mission,” Bülent Göktuna, president of the National and the event’s promoter Mineks International, on May 11 told a group of journalists invited to follow the tournament.
“We want to improve golf as a sport in Turkey. That is why we have been investing in this international event.”
The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open was this year televised live by international broadcasters including Sky Sports 4, the Golf Channel, Sport TV Golfe, AB Golf/GC, and Sportklub Golf.
Göktuna said the broadcasts helped cement Belek’s place on the golf map. “The interest of international television channels on our tournament will help increase the sponsor interest,” Göktuna added, while calling on Turkey-based international brands to focus on golf, rather than spending almost all their sponsorship budgets on football.