Dubai’s Chiara Noja secured her best Ladies European Tour finish to date with a share of 13th at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, but the youngster was left wondering what could have been if the putter had heated up at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.
The 16 year old, who turned professional on the eve of last year’s Dubai Moonlight Classic, carded a three-over par 75 in the final round, which included two double bogeys, to drop down the leaderboard in King Abdullah Economic City. Despite the blip on Sunday, Noja still finished a career-best 13th in a professional event, but she wasn’t too impressed with her putting display in just her fourth Ladies European Tour start.
“I’m going to go and hit the putting green!” said Noja. “Usually putting is one of my strengths and I can usually rely on it but the amount of putts I’ve missed from within 10 feet this week is astounding! I would have finished higher on the leaderboard if I had my usual putting game. It’s an encouragement to know that I could have been higher if I had putted better but it’s also a disappointment at the same time as this is such an incredible event and being able to perform here against such a strong field is an honour, so I wish I could have putted a bit better today.
Hard to put @AramcoLadiesInt into words – T13th this week in a world class field. A little rust still left to clear off but another amazing experience in the books✅ I’d like to thank all my sponsors and supporters for believing in me. Your support doesn’t go unnoticed♥️ pic.twitter.com/7D1P55NgJn
— Chiara Noja (@thechiaranoja) March 20, 2022
Despite not bringing her putting ‘A’ game, Noja was still able to reflect what she had achieved just days after celebrating her 16th birthday with some French toast!
“If you’d told I’d be 13th at the start of the tournament that I’d finish 13th then I would have been happy but if you’d told me after the third round I would have thought you were an idiot!” she chuckled. “It was a tough week. The wind really started blowing on the back nine so it was all about playing the course strategically and trying to keep the score together. Finishing 13th is an achievement and I’ll make some great steps forward in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. It’s been a really cool week and I have enjoyed it despite the missed putts!”