WALES (June 14, 2013) -- Georgia Hall, 17-year-old British girls' champion last year, is Britain's last hope of extending the three-in-a-row-sequence of home winners of the Ladies' British Open Amateur golf championship at Machynys Golf Club, near Llanelli.
England's Kelly Tidy (2010 at Ganton) and Lauren Taylor (2011 at Royal Porttush), then Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow (2012 at Carnoustie) ended Continental domination of the Ladies Golf Union's flagship tournament for amateurs.But the pendulum of golfing power is threating to swing eastwards again with only Hall to hold the fort against two Spaniards, Luna Sobron from Majorca, Noemi Jimenez (no relation to Miguel Angel Jimenez) from Malaga and Germany's Karolin Lampert, the three other qualifiers for Saturday morning's semi-finals at the South Wales venue where the bad weather has never been far away all week. Hall, despite her tender years, is well equipped for the task. She won two gold medals for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympics earlier this year and at No 7 is the highest World Ranked female amateur left in the championship. Lampert comes next at No 18.
The 18-year-old Maguire twins both bowed out today, both beaten by Spaniards - Leona in the morning third round by Noemi Jimenex , Lisa in the quarter-finals, beaten 3 and 2 by Sobron.
Hall had two fairly comfortable wins to reach the last four with roughly one or two under-par figures and she knows what it's like to play in the semi-finals of the British championship - she lost to eventual champion Meadow at the penultimate stage at Carnoustie last year.
"I feel I have more control of the ball than I had last year and that's been important here at Machynys where the rain comes and goes but the wind seems to blow forever," said Georgia who has left school and plans to go to the LET Q School at the end of the year.
The semi-final line-up is Hall versus Jimenez, Sobron v Lampert.
Sobron, a 19-year-old student at Madrid University, knocked out promising English prospect Gabriella Cowley in the morning and then took the measure of Lisa Maguire who had earlier removed the World No 2 and top see Su-Hyun Oh from the championship.
But the writing was on the wall for Lisa when she lost the first, third, fourth and fifth holes to Subron and was playing catch-up golf thereafter.
Lisa did well to get it back to a one-hole deficit by winning three holes in a row from the eighth but Sobron stopped the slide by halving the 11th and 12th before turning the screw on her opponent again by winning the long 13th with a birdie 4 to regain a two-hole advantage.
Sobron, competing in the championship for the first time, completed a 3 and 2 victory by winning the 16th. She was roughly two over par for the holes played.
She now plays the 18-year-old Lampert who beat Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) in the morning round. Lampert was about one under par in winning by 4 and 3 in the quarter-finals against the conqueror of defending champion Stephanie Meadow, namely Justine Dreher from France. Lampert laid the foundations for victory by winning the second, third and fifth. Three up at the turn, Lampert went four up by winning the 11th.
Karolin missed the cut at Carnoustie last year but she has not got to No 18 in the World Rankings for nothing. Last year she won the German girls championship and the Spanish women's open amateur championship. Last week she underlined her curerent form by finishing second in her defence of the German girls title.
Georgia Hall won the second hole against Harang Lee (Spain) with a birdie 2 and then followed a long sequence of halved holes as neither player could gain a definite edge.
Then came a crucial mistake by Lee. She lost a ball off her second shot at the 12th - two up for Hall which became three up with a Hall birdie at the 13th. and four up with another win at the next. For Lee, the lost-ball incident had broken her resistance.
Hall was roughly one under par in winning by 4 and 3.
Noemi Jimenez was an approximate one over par in beating Ines Escudier from France by 5 and 4.
"My long game is good but I would like to hole a few more putts," said 19-year-old Noemi who plays on the US college circuit as a student at Arizona State University. "When the weather is as bad as we've been having, match-play is all about making fewer mistakes than your opponent."
All square after five holes, Jimenez got in the driving seat in more ways than one by winning the sixth, seventh, eighht, 11th and 12th to be five up.