The KPMG Women’s Irish Open came to an unusual conclusion Sunday when Anne Van Dam broke her driver on the way to the first playoff hole.
Van Dam was riding in the passenger seat of a golf cart, driven by a Ladies European Tour official, as she headed toward the 18th tee to begin the playoff. The cart turned off the fairway and drove under a rope, which caught Van Dam’s driver and pulled her bag off the cart.
When Van Dam and the official picked the bag up off the ground, the shaft of her driver had broken and the head of the club remained in the grass as a look of shock came over the Dutchwoman’s face.
This club wasn’t even Van Dam’s main driver, it was her backup. Her main driver was broken earlier in the week by an airline on her way to the event.
She wasn’t able to get a replacement in time for the playoff and ended up teeing off with her 3-wood on the par 5.
Van Dam was joined in the playoff by Denmark’s Smilla Tarning Soenderby and Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson. Soenderby was nine shots back after the third round before firing a final-round 10-under 62 to get into the playoff.
Even without a driver, Van Dam hit the longest drive of the three, finding the fairway and hitting her approach to 11 feet.
Petterson missed the green but was able to make birdie, setting the stage for Soenderby to continue her magical Sunday.
After drawing a 6-iron around a tree to 12 feet, Soenderby stepped up and holed the eagle putt to put the pressure on Van Dam, who couldn’t convert to extend the playoff.
Soenderby would ultimately play 19 holes in 12 under par to capture her maiden LET victory.