Annabelle Pancake (photo courtesy The R&A)
Germany’s Chiara Horder defeated the world’s leading women’s amateur golfer Ingrid Lindblad to set up a Final with Annabelle Pancake in The 120th Women’s Amateur Championship.
The 20-year-old, placed 273rd on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), produced the upset of the week at Prince’s to beat the Swede 4&3 in their semi-final on the Kent coast.
American Pancake, 123rd in the world standings, is making her first visit to the UK but has quickly adapted to the hard and fast conditions and was a 2&1 victor against Elin Pudas Remler in the last four.
Horder will now aim to become the third German player to win The Women’s Amateur in the last six years, while Pancake, 21, is bidding to be the first winner from the United States of America since Kelli Kuehne in 1996.
The winner of the 36-hole Final gains entry to the AIG Women’s Open, US Women’s Open, The Amundi Evian Championship, Chevron Championship and by tradition, an invitation to compete at the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.
Given Lindblad, 23, tied for second in stroke play qualifying and was dominant in earlier match play rounds, it was a notable success for German national team player Horder who had not been past the last-32 in two previous appearances in The Women’s Amateur.
Chiara Horder (The R&A)
Lindblad found herself one down early against Horder after her birdie at the par-5 2nd. The Swede birdied the 8th to square the match only to bogey the 10th. Horder’s stunning eagle at the 12th and Lindblad’s problems in the rough on the 13th suddenly gave the German a three-up lead. In front of good sized crowds in the warm conditions, Horder finished in style with another eagle at the 15th.
Pancake eagled the 2nd – her second of the day – to go ahead against Pudas Remler. It was all square when the Swede, making her Championship debut this week, sent an approach shot to five feet at the 6th. A bogey at the 7th from the 18-year-old saw her slip behind again only to level again with a birdie at the par-3 11th. However, Pancake – with mum, Libby, caddying – seized control with birdies at the 12th, 15th and 16th to triumph.
The R&A will again provide live video coverage of the Final tomorrow from 8.30am on its website, www.randa.org, as well as its YouTube channel. Live coverage is also being broadcast by Sky Sports Golf.
In the morning quarter-finals, Lindblad shone in her meeting with fellow Swede Kajsa Arwefjall. After only one bogey in her two matches on Friday, she again failed to drop a shot and recorded six birdies. Three up after nine holes, Lindblad eased to a 4&3 victory.
Pudas Remler was also impressive to see off the challenge of Ireland’s Beth Coulter, the leading stroke play qualifier. Pudas Remler held a narrow one-hole lead after eight holes before a bogey from Coulter and back-to-back birdies from the Swede took her four up. Coulter responded with three birdies but clutch putts from Pudas Remler on the 15th and 16th sealed a 3&2 win.
Pancake and Catherine Rao – who met in the last-16 of the US Women’s Amateur last year when Rao triumphed – had a tight tussle. Pancake birdied the first two holes and was never behind, but there was only one hole in it going into the final four holes. Rao played a brilliant tee shot to the par-3 17th and an approach to five feet at the 18th, but Pancake held firm and holed from 20 feet for a winning birdie at the last.
Horder was never ahead in her quarter-final until victory at the 19th hole against Ffion Tynan. The 20-year-old from Wales was two up after 11 holes but struggled at the finish to allow the German to progress.
Spectators are welcome to attend the Final of The Women’s Amateur Championship with tickets available to purchase at www.randa.org. Adult tickets are available from £10. To encourage children and young people to attend, The R&A has continued the successful ‘Kids go Free’ programme which provides children under-16-years-old free entry to the Championship when accompanied by a paying adult. Half-price youth tickets are also available for 16-24-year-olds.
The championship, founded in 1893, has an impressive list of former winners including McCormack Medal winner Leona Maguire and major champions Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist.
Prince’s is hosting The Women’s Amateur Championship for a third time and the first since 1964, with the venue also staging the Curtis Cup in 1956 and The Open in 1932.
Chiara Horder, Germany
“I'm super happy I'm here. Like I really didn't expect it at all. If somebody would have just told me that I am standing here and tomorrow in the Final, I would be like, ‘wow, I'll take that’, so I'm super happy.
“I guess on number 12 that was really a momentum changer (against Ingrid) just to get that eagle and to just stay in the match and stay up. I was, as I said, just focusing on myself and just did what I can do. That was enough, so I'm happy.
“The German coaches are amazing. I think that's really what has lead us to this championship. We do practice a lot on links courses, as well, so I think that definitely helps.”
Annabelle Pancake, USA
“I’m feeling very excited, blessed and thankful. I don't really have words other than just thank God for this opportunity and the people who put it on. It's just so fun and exciting.
“I turned to my mom earlier and was like, ‘How cool is this, that we get to be here doing what we love at a cool place like this,’ so it's really exciting.
“I haven’t really thought about the major opportunities. I think pressure is something that you put on yourself. I've just been here to play golf and enjoy it. Having such a fun day, I just want to embrace it. I do want to win, but I feel like I've won making it to this point so I’m just very thankful.”
ABOUT THE Ladies British Amateur
This championship, along with the US Women’s
Amateur Golf Championship, is considered the
important in women’s amateur golf.
The first stage of the Championship involves
players each of whom plays two rounds of 18
The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes will
in the match play stage of the Championship.
match will consist of one round of 18 holes,
The ‘Pam Barton Memorial Salver’ is awarded to
winner of the Championship, while the runner-
receives The Diana Fishwick Cup. An
team award is presented after the stroke play
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