|Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands at National Golf Club on Wednesday
Christel Boeljon is hoping that a return to National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, will inspire her to capture her second successive Turkish Airlines Ladies Open title this weekend.
Exactly 12 months ago, Boeljon posted a four-round winning total of five under par 287 and earn a three stroke victory over Florentyna Parker and Becky Brewerton for her first solo Ladies European Tour victory. As a rookie, she had previously won the European Nations Cup partnering Marjet Van der Graaff.
Now, Boeljon is a European Solheim Cup champion with a further victory under her belt after she won the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters in February.
Whilst playing down her chances of a second victory on the 6194-yard par-73 course, Boeljon said: “I feel pretty good. I’ve had some time to work on my game and the last tournament I played was okay except for the last round. My game feels like it’s coming around together quite nicely. Hopefully this week it will come together because you never know. I’ll keep working hard and playing shot by shot.”
Reflecting on her performance last year, she added: “When you play the holes you see the shots you played the year before and especially coming down hole 18, just good memories. On 16, the chip-in, those are the things that stick out. Also, the people from the tournament are very welcoming.”
Despite early success this season, Boeljon feels that her game has suffered since her win in Australia. From eight starts on the LPGA, her best finish has been a tie for 31st position at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and the Honda LPGA Thailand 2012.
“After that my game wasn’t that good which I think was good for me too because I’d been playing pretty well for such a long time. It was good for me to fall back a little, face facts, work hard and get back in position. The last few weeks my game is getting back together,” she said.
Boeljon revealed that she is enjoying her time in America and a win there is next on her wish list. “I’ve been to college so I know what America is like. I love the golf courses and I know the players now so it’s great. A win might be too much this year I want to get myself in position and we’ll see.”
Although the National is always a tough test, Boeljon felt that scoring would be lower than in previous years. Lotta Wahlin won by 12 shots in 2008 with a winning score of seven under par, while Melissa Reid won by two shots at three under par in 2010.
A new green will be used on the 12th hole, while fairway bunkers have been removed on hole-15. “It’s in great condition and it’s very green so I think it might play a little longer. They’ve made a few changes to some of the greens and of course hole-12 is different, but it’s playing nicely and I think it’s in good shape so some good scores should come,” Boeljon added.
She will begin her title defence starting from the 10th tee at 8.10am local time on Thursday and is playing with last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open champion, Carly Booth and the Lalla Meryem Cup winner, Karen Lunn.