Earl outlasts crowd of chasers to win English Women's Amateur
Rebecca Earl (Golf England/Twitter photo)
Rebecca Earl claimed the English Women’s Open Amateur at Ipswich (England) Golf Club on Thursday. It marks the first international title for the Englishwoman, and she had plenty of first-rate chasers to fend off to do it.
Earl, 19, finished 72 holes at 2 under, and four more players were at 1 under right behind her. That included two GB&I Curtis Cup team members in Lily May Humphreys and Shannon McWilliam.
Early bogeyed the last hole in a final-round 73 and faced an anxious wait to see if Rosie Belsham could catch her, but in the end Early prevailed.
Humphreys made a late charge in a bid to add to the Welsh and Irish Women’s Stroke Play titles she won earlier in the season, but came up just short despite birdieing her final hole for a 68.
Scotland native McWilliam also moved up the leaderboard with four birdies in her opening 15 holes in the final round but a bogey at the last meant she had to settle for a 69 that left her one shot short.
England’s Sharna Dutrieux made her move in the morning with a 69 and she looked as if she would maintain her run when she fired five birdies in seven holes from the fifth but four dropped shots over the closing stretch saw her also come up one shot short in the group in second place.
Belsham knew she needed to birdie the last to force extra holes against Earl, but she couldn’t pull it off. A final-round 74 also put her in the group at 1-under 287.
On a day when several of the more experienced competitors made a move up the leaderboard England’s Isobel Wardle was 7 under for her first 16 holes but bogeys at Nos. 17 and 18 contributed to a closing 67 and left her in a share of sixth place alongside Darcey Harry from Wales. Harry had led the field by one shot after a third-round 68 but a closing 76 dropped her out of contention.
Austrian defending champion Isabella Hoplfer closed with a 1-under 71 to finish eighth at 289.
ABOUT THE English Women's Open Amateur
A maximum of 144 players will contest this 72-hole
stroke play championship.
The full field will play 18 holes on each of the first
two days. Then the leading 40 competitors and ties
will play the final 36 holes on the third day.
The winner will return the lowest gross score over
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