British Women's: after qualifying scare Toy cruises into final 16
Emily Toy (R&A photo)
Emily Toy (R&A photo)

After two rounds of match play on Thursday, England’s Emily Toy is still alive in her bid to defend her British Women's Amateur title at West Lancashire Golf Club.

The 22-year-old, who claimed victory at Royal County Down last year, is aiming to become the first player since Sweden’s Louise Stahle in 2005 to retain the championship.

But her defense was on a knife's edge in the stroke play qualifier. After bad weather reduced qualifying to 18 holes, Toy struggled to a 78 and only progressed to match play via scorecard playoff.

Toy saw off the challenge of fellow Englishwoman Isabelle Simpson with a one-hole win in the morning before following it up with a comfortable 5&4 triumph over Ireland’s Jessica Ross.

Emily Price, who won the English Women’s Amateur Championship earlier this month and was among the leading stroke play qualifiers, is also still alive, beating Hulda Clara Gestsdottir from Iceland 2&1 to reach the last-16.

The day started with an emotional contest between sisters that went to the final hole.

Denmark’s Amalie Leth-Nissen – who was the leading qualifier on card countback – lost out to her older sister, Cecilie. It was a notable triumph, given Cecilie is ranked 765th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking compared to Amalie at 47th.

However, Scotland’s Hannah Darling, 17, the Girls’ Under-16 Open Champion in 2018, then ended the hopes of Leth-Nissen in the afternoon with a one-hole victory.

Of the other leading qualifiers from Wednesday, Rosie Belsham lost to Annabel Bailey by one hole and Carolina Melgrati from Italy also exited at the 19th to Wales’ Ffion Tynan.

Laura Webb, the oldest player in the field at 57, won her first match before Tynan took her out with a 2&1 victory.

Italian Alessia Nobilio, the world number five, quietly went about her work to reach the last-16, while two German players, Paula Schulz-Hanssen and Aline Krauter, also progressed. Lily May Humphreys, the highest-ranked English player in the field, now faces Schulz-Hanssen tomorrow.

However, there was disappointment for home club member Hollie Muse and Scotland’s Hazel MacGarvie as they exited at the last-64 stage.

The match play continues tomorrow, with the last-16 and quarter-final ties played, ahead of Saturday’s semi-finals and the 18-hole Final. There are significant rewards for the champion with exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.

Thanks to the R&A for the information in this report.

Results: Ladies British Amateur
WinGermanyAline KrauterGermany1500
Runner-upEnglandAnnabell FullerEngland1000
SemifinalsEnglandEmily ToyEngland700
SemifinalsItalyEmilie PaltrinieriItaly700
QuarterfinalsGermanyPaula Schulz-HanssenGermany500

View full results for Ladies British Amateur

ABOUT THE Ladies British Amateur

This championship, along with the US Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, is considered the most important in women’s amateur golf.

The first stage of the Championship involves 144 players each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes will compete in the match play stage of the Championship. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes, including the Final.

The ‘Pam Barton Memorial Salver’ is awarded to the winner of the Championship, while the runner- up receives The Diana Fishwick Cup. An international team award is presented after the stroke play qualifying rounds.

View Complete Tournament Information

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