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Golf - 16. May 2011.

Hertfordshire’s Lucy Williams win English championship

Hertfordshire’s Lucy Williams won the 2011 English women’s amateur championship at West Sussex when she defeated 15-year-old Charley Hull on the 19th hole of an outstanding final.  The event was sponsored by Tourism Ireland.

Lucy came back from one down after 16 to snatch the title on the 19th with a finish of birdie, eagle, birdie. “I am just so happy, shocked, over the moon!” said the 21-year-old from Mid-Herts.

“It was a brilliant, brilliant match. I knew it would be hard, but the way I played in the strokeplay qualifying showed me I could do it,” added Lucy, who was the number two seed.

This was the first time she has played in the event, which clashed with school and then university commitments, when she was a student at Birmingham on the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme. Now, with her degree under her belt she’s taking her parents up on a promise of a year of golf.

Lucy and Charley, from Woburn, treated a large crowd of spectators to a superb final in which they both showed their grit, played a fabulous range of shots and scored a total of nine birdies and an eagle. Both were well under par for the round.

Charley not only hits the ball a prodigious distance but has the most wonderful touch around the greens. Lucy was not quite so long but very accurate, armed with a brand new set of Taylor-Made woods. “I don’t think I would have won without them,” she said. However, she also brought a red-hot putter and crucially holed a 30-footer from the back of the 17th for birdie, and an 8ft putt on the 18th for an eagle three.

The players started the match with a pair of birdies before Charley won the next two holes with pars. Lucy settled into the game with a run of pars and won the difficult short holes, five and six, to get back to all square.

Charley birdied the long seventh to go up again, but Lucy birdied the eighth – another short hole – to pull her back again. Lucy got ahead for the first time with a par on the ninth, but the players were all square again after Charley produced a touch of magic to birdie the par five 11th. She found the heather off the tee and wasn’t able to reach the green, but her flop shot over a bunker was pure genius and stayed out of the hole only because it hit the pin.

They halved the next three holes before Charley again went one up on the short 15th, where she played an excellent shot over water to within 10ft of the pin and duly rolled in the putt for a birdie. On the 16th, it was Lucy who was close in two, but her birdie attempt stayed stubbornly out and she remained one down.

On the 17th both players tacked a bit but after three shots Lucy was at the back of the green, well away from the pin, while Charley was about 10ft away. Both holed and the match went on: “That massive putt on 17 made the difference,” said Lucy.

The players both reached the 18th in two, both finishing within 10ft of the hole – and both were applauded on to the green by the large crowd of spectators.  Charley was first to go and although her ball kissed the hole she had to settle for a birdie. Lucy rolled hers in for an eagle, to go all square and take the match down the 19th. “I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking on that putt, I was so in the zone!”

Lucy played the 19th in immaculate style: two shots to the edge of the green and two putts for her birdie. Meanwhile Charley was right of the green in two, in light rough with the edge of a hump to negotiate, and she finished with a par. Afterwards she remarked: “I’m not disappointed because I played good golf. I just can’t wait to get to my next event.”


English women’s amateur championship final
Lucy Williams (Mid-Herts) beat Charley Hull (Woburn) at 19th

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