French Under-18 Open Champion Holly Clyburn of Lincolnshire produced sparkling golf in heavy rain and wind to beat Lancashire’s Kelly Tidy 4/3 and win the FirstPoint USA English girls’ championship at North Wilts Golf Club.
Yorkshire’s Charlotte Austwick won the second flight trophy after a marathon battle which ended on the 20th. “I’m ecstatic,” she said.
The finals were played in the most unpleasant conditions. The players teed off in rain which, by the time Holly and Kelly reached the third hole, had worsened into a downpour, driving across the course.
Despite the weather the players halved the first with birdies before Kelly won the second to take the early advantage. Then, as the weather worsened, Holly produced a string of successful up-and-downs which helped her to square the match and move ahead to three up after eight.
She three-putted the ninth to lose the hole and on the 11th looked in danger of doing the same after her first putt slid across the wet surface and finished about 12ft past the hole. However, she bravely holed the return while Kelly’s shortish putt for a half hit the hole and lipped out.
Holly won the 12th with a textbook birdie to go to four up, but lost the short 13th where both players struggled around the green. The 14th was halved before the short 15th proved the decider.
Kelly’s tee shot looked good but took one bounce into thick rough behind the green and she did extremely well to hack out on to the putting surface. Holly’s drive finished just off the fringe to the right of the hole and, when she chipped stiff, the hole and the championship were hers. “I had my short game with me today,” said Holly. “I knew I could rely on it.”
Next week the two players will be on the same side in England’s team at the Girls’ International Matches at Fairhaven, Lancashire.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire second team player Charlotte Austwick staged an impressive fightback to win the second flight final. Her opponent, Tiffany Hewetson of Sussex, was never behind during the match and was two up with three to play.
Charlotte won the 16th and 18th to take the match into extra time and secured the win on the 20th, where the difficult, steeply tiered green ruined Tiffany’s hopes.
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) beat Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) 4/3
Second flight final
Charlotte Austwick (Pike Hill) beat Tiffany Hewetson (East Brighton) at 20th.
Full championship details: www.englishwomensgolf.org
* Source - EWGA Media Release