American Meghan Stasi of Oakland Park, FL, reaches the semifinals but falls in 19 holes to eventual runner-up Kelsey MacDonald
GANTON, ENGLAND (June 26, 2010)--Royal Birkdale's Kelly Tidy, 18, made it third time lucky in a British final at bright and breezy Ganton Golf Club, Yorkshire this afternoon when she beat Scottish Champion Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar), 19, by 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final.
Kelly was beaten finalist in the British girls’ championships of 2007 and 2008.
The big bonus for the girl from Bolton, who has played for Europe in both the Junior Solheim Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup, is that the victory exempts her from the pre-qualifying and gives her a place among the stars in the field for the Ricoh Women’s British Open over her home course at Royal Birkdale.
“I am overwhelmed by that,” said Kelly. “I played well in the morning semi-finals but no so well in the final. I was one or two down for most of the way but I kept telling myself that this is the kind of match-play course where games can swing first one way, then the other.”
Kelsey Macdonald won the Scottish title only five weeks ago so, disappointed though she was at losing in the British final, she was not broken-hearted.
“If someone had told me at the start of the week I would get as far as the final, I would have gladly taken,” said Stirling University student. “I had a great comeback win in the morning from four down after four but it just ran away from me near the end in the final.
“I got a couple of bad breaks but the bottom line is that Kelly played better than me over the last few holes.”
It was the first all-British final since Rebecca Hudson beat Emma Duggleby to win the title at Walton Heath in 2010.
Kelsey MacDonald’s start to the final contrasted with her morning experience when she was four down after four in the semi-final.
In the final, the Scottish champion rolled in a 20ft birdie putt to lead from the first hole.
Kelly Tidy was bunkered at the downwind second but MacDonald three-putted down the slop from short of the green to halve the hole in bogey 5s.
The third was halved in birdie 3rs before MacDonald went two up with a par at the fourth.
Every hole to the turn was halved after that with pars at the short fifth, birdies at the sixth, double bogey 6s at the seventh and bogey 5s at both the eighth and ninth.
The turn reached in a commendable pace of only 1hr 35min.
Tidy enjoyed her first success of the field, her par at the short 10th being good enough to win the hole after MacDonald missed the green.
But Kelsey quickly regained her two-hole advantage with a par 4. She was, however, in trouble in the bushes at the 12th and eventually had to concede it to her opponent who was back to only one down.
Tidy made it two wins in a row by taking the long 13th with a par 5 to get back on level terms for the first time since the first tee.
After a half in par at the shortish 14th, Tidy took the lead for the first time with a bogey 6 at the long 15th. MacDonald went through the green into long grass and came out too strongly to cross the green the other way. The Scot finished up three-putting a nightmare hole for her, which passed the initiative to your younger opponent for the first time.
MacDonald’s bad run of luck continue and she conceded the 16th to go two down with two to play. The Scot drove into the rough and hit her second short of the greenside bunker. She landed in the sand with her third shot and then took three strokes to get out.
The final ended at the short 17th where Kelsey was bunkered. The hole was halved in 4s, giving Tidy the title by 2 and 1.
Scottish champion Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar), 19 year old Stirling University student, will play 18-year-old Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale), a Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup player, in this afternoon’s 18-hole final of the British women’s open amateur championship at bright but breezy Ganton Golf Club, Yorkshire.
MacDonald staged a tremendous fightback to beat former US Curtis Cup player, Meghan Stasi, at the 19th after losing the first four holes.
Tidy beat 18-year-old Rebecca Lee-Bentham from Toronto, Canada by 5 and 3 in the second semi-final with a sub-par display.
“I was ripping it on the range before the semi-final,” said Kelsey later “but when I got on the course I just couldn’t find my rhythm at all. Where it was the wind or what, I don’t know.
“Carlota Ciganda’s dad gave me some encouragement when I was three or four down so early and even Kelly Tidy’s granny came over to help me settle down.
“I had felt strangely uncomfortable over the early holes but once I settled down I started to hit a lot of good shots and holed a lot of good putts. And that up and down from the practice green to square the match at the 18th has to be one of my careers”.
Stasi got off to a flying start, winning the first four holes. Pars were good enough for the American to take holes 1 and 2 but she birdied the third, a shortish par-4 and won the fourth with a bogey 5 to go four up.
MacDonald stopped the rot with a winning par at the short fifth but went back to four down when she bogeyed the seventh.
MacDonald holed a 20ft birdie putt to win the eighth and was two down at the turn after winning the ninth where Stasi had an unplayable lie off the tee and couldn’t match her opponent’s par 5.
Stasi was roughly two over par for the front nine.
Stasi went back to three up with a par at the 11th but MacDonald won back the 12th with a par to be two down.
A half in par at the 13th left the American two up with five to play.
MacDonald holed a good putt just when she needed, sinking a 25ft birdie putt from the back of the green for a 3 to win the 14th and cut her deficit to one hole.
MacDonald did again at the next, holing a 12-footer for another birdie to square the match.
After a half in par 4s at the 16th, MacDonald three-putted the short 17th to go back to one down.
But the Scot squared the match on the 18th green with a magnificent recovery from 40yards right on the practice putting green in front of the clubhouse. He ball came to rest no more than 2 ½ ft from the flagstick.
Meanwhile, in the swirling wind, Stasi’s approach shot has come short in the right greenside bunker. She took three to get down from there and MacDonald confidently holed her putt for a 4 to take the match into extra holes.
Both players were roughly four over par for the round.
In the other semi-final, Kelly Tidy won the first hole with a par but was pulled back to square at the third which Rebecca Lee-Bentham birdied with an 8ft putt.
Tidy holed from 12ft to win the fourth but was bunkered to lose the fifth. Lee-Bentham was also bunkered at this hole but came out to 3ft and holed the putt for a winning par.
Tidy went one up for a third time with a birdie 3 at the seventh and then took the eighth with a par 4 and the ninth with a conceded birdie 4 to be three up at the turn with roughly one under par figures.
After halves in par at the 10th and 11th, Tidy stretched her lead with a birdie 3 at the 12th … four up with six to play.
Lee-Bentham was not finished yet, however. She birdied the long 13th to cut her deficit to three holes. But Tidy was not to be stopped now. She wrapped up a 5 and 3 victory with wins at the 14th and 15th. She was roughly one or two under par for the holes played.