England’s 2005 champion, Felicity Johnson has kickstarted her rookie year on the Ladies European Tour with a share of third place in the Northern Ireland Ladies Open.
The Warwickshire player birdied the last two holes to finish the event on one-under par – and just one shot away from a play-off for the title.
“It was really pleasing to get a good result,” said Felicity, 20, who came through ELGA’s lottery-funded training programme.
She made a slow start to the season, making just one cut in four previous starts, but she wasn’t worried. “I wasn’t discouraged. I knew I was playing well enough to put the scores together if I just kept going.”
She was particularly pleased with her final round of the tournament, when she was two-under par in drenching rain. “We teed off in the rain and finished in the rain, it just didn’t let up. It was really tough but you had to keep going and keep focussed.”
Felicity’s amateur career – when she was one of England’s leading internationals – helped prepare her for professional ranks.
“I’ve only played three years full-time and the England programme helped me prepare for this. It stood me in good stead, playing week in, week out.
“Now I’m just making the transition, getting used to the travelling, the practice days, the pro-ams - and trying to make a living out of it. I’m really enjoying it.”
She’s one of three former England amateur stars who are in their rookie year on tour. Yorkshire’s Kiran Matharu, who was the 2006 English champion, and Lincolnshire’s Sophie Walker, ELGA’s 2005 order of merit winner, both finished in a share of 13th place in this event.
The tournament was won by Lisa Hall of England, who defeated Gwladys Nocera of France in a marathon eight-hole play-off.
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