22 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |
Blum's breakthrough 'Athena' win
South Australian Kristalle Blum claimed her first professional victory today at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club today, taking out the inaugural “Athena” title. The Athena is named after the Greek goddess of war strategy and wisdom and a vibrant symbol of youthful strength and Blum stuck to the script pulling out quality shots under pressure in the quarter-final against Gold Coaster Robyn Choi, the semi-final against local favourite Becky Kay and again in the final against Kono Matsumoto. Blum stood on the par-5 third playoff hole in the final with a two-shot advantage over the Victorian and looked to be in complete control after finding the fairway off the tee. However the 23-year-old left the door ajar for Matsumoto after blocking her second shot 40 metres to the right of the green, leaving herself an almost impossible pitch shot. While the drama on the final had the crowd enthralled, ultimately the two-shot advantage was too much for Matsumoto to overcome and Blum managed to two-putt from eight metres to claim the inaugural Athena title. An emotional Blum was sprayed with champagne by her fellow competitors and admitted that the win would be life changing, “I can’t even begin to express what this means to me,” she said. “Last year was tough as I really felt that I ready to play my best golf but with COVID I never got the chance to test myself. This win will give me so much confidence moving forward, and the [prizemoney] will give me the opportunity to reconsider my plans for 2021!” WPGA Tour of Australasia chief executive Karen Lunn said she was delighted for Blum. “This is exactly the kind of result we were hoping for, we are so excited for what this will mean to Kristalle and her future career,” Lunn said.
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