Hertfordshire’s Charlie Douglass won the English amateur championship when she defeated Tara Watters of Middlesex 3/2 in the final at Lindrick, Yorkshire.
“Wow!” she said as she wiped away floods of tears. “I’m hoping to go to Tour School in January and at the beginning of this year I said to myself that I wanted a big title to show I had a solid amateur career behind me. Now I am on top of the world.”
Charlie, 20, started the tournament with an 87 in the first qualifying round – and it helped to spur her on to victory. “After that I had nothing to lose and winning is just fantastic.”
The lefthander bounced back with a 75 in the second qualifying round and then made her way through the knockout rounds with a series of impressive wins.
Tara confirmed her place in the final only this morning. Play in her semi-final against Yorkshire’s Emma Brown had to be suspended after 14 holes yesterday because of lightning and they returned to the course to finish at 8.30am.
The Middlesex champion was one-up when play was halted but lost the 15th. However, after a string of halved holes she finally won on the 20th.
She was soon back on the tee for the final, but got off to a slow start. She missed a makeable putt to lose the first, was two down after Charlie birdied the second and was three down after finding sand on the short third hole.
Afterwards Tara, a sports physiotherapist, said: “I think it was difficult making the switch from the semi-final to the final. I think I was a bit jittery and on edge, but Charlie played great, you can’t take it away from her.”
Charlie looked on course for a quick victory when she birdied the long fifth to get to four up. But Tara began to peg her back, starting with a birdie on the sixth. She then won both the eight and the 10th to reduce the deficit to just one hole.
However, the short 11th, where both players missed the green, proved to be a turning point. Charlie won the hole with a bogey and said afterwards : “That was absolutely crucial because I was only one-up at the time.” She went on to win the 12th to go to three-up but lost the 13th where Tara played a superb up and down from a deep greenside bunker.
The 14th and 15th were halved in par. Both players reached the green on the par five 16th in regulation but Charlie was much closer to the hole and seized her chance – confidently rolling in a 12-footer for a 3/2 victory. “This is wonderful,” she said through the tears.
Charlie Douglass (Brocket Hall) beat Tracey Boyes (Meon Valley) 6/5
Tara Watters (Muswell Hill) beat Emma Brown (Malton & Norton) at 20th
Douglass beat Watters 3/2
* Source - EWGA