- Alistair Tait
Amy Boulden earns LET return after winning Q School
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Amy Boulden can look forward to a busier than expected 2020 season after winning the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School at La Manga in Southern Spain.
Not many recent Q School winners have been able to say that.
The 26-year-old Welsh player returned a 5-under-par 68 in final round to finish the 90-hole marathon on 10-under 351. She took the first card by three strokes from Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher and Alison Muirhead of Scotland. Simmermacher matched Boulden’s 68 and took the second card courtesy of a better final round than Muirhead.
Switzerland’s Kim Metraux, whose sister Morgane took the 14th card, finished fourth. England’s Alice Hewson earned card number five.
The first five cards were the prize tickets on offer of the 20 available. All 20 players receive full LET cards, but the top five get more playing opportunities.
“I’m relieved,” said Boulden, the 2014 LET rookie of the year. “It’s always a tough week coming back to Q-School. I decided to play a bit on the Symetra Tour last year and didn’t manage to keep my LET card from the six events in which I played, so I was always planning to come back.
“I love playing in Europe, but you feel a bit of extra pressure once you’ve had your card and then lose it. It’s a big relief to have it.”
“I’ve done quite a lot of swing work over the last year or so. I feel like all areas of my game are getting better and it’s just about confidence now. Hopefully I can kick on from here.”
Buenos Aires native Simmermacher becomes only the second Argentinean to hold a full LET card. Muirhead was making just her second professional start after topping the Pre-Qualifying field last week.
“It feels amazing,” the 21-year-old Dubai based Scot said. “I never expected this to be the outcome. To do last week and this week and finish first and second, I’m really pleased. It’s been a long two weeks and I’m excited for the tour and feel like I’m ready to be playing.”
Q School grads over the past few seasons must have felt like they were embarking on a magical mystery tour. They often had no idea when and where they were going to be playing. In recent years the schedule hasn’t been announced until after the Qualifying School concluded.
Not this year.
Boulden’s win comes just days after the LET announced a 24-tournament schedule worth a record €18 million thanks to a historic merger with the LPGA. It means she has a viable option of playing in Europe rather than looking to the Symetra Tour. Many European women recently have had no choice but to head to the Symetra because they got so few European starts due to the poor schedule.
It doesn’t seem too long ago that Boulden was helping Great Britain & Ireland win the 2012 Curtis Cup at Nairn. It hasn't been an easy six years for the Llandudno player, which hasn’t been helped by the lack of playing opportunities. She probably wishes the LPGA-LET merger came sooner. Hopefully she and the other grads make the best of what should be a banner year for the LET.