2 August 2012:
Sophie’s U15 victory is a club double
Essex golfer Sophie Madden scored a double triumph for her club when she won the English U15 girls’ championship by a shot at Delamere Forest, Cheshire.
Sophie (Image © Leaderboard Photography) is a member at West Essex Golf Club – and last year her friend and club colleague, Gabriella Cowley, won the national title.
“I wanted to follow in Gabby’s footsteps, we are really close friends and from the same club, so it’s great,” said Sophie, after she completed the 72-hole championship with a level par round and a nine-over par total.
She finished one shot ahead of Alice Hewson of Hertfordshire, while Annabel Bailey of Nottinghamshire was third, followed by halfway leader Eloise Healey of Lancashire.
Sophie, 15, was firmly in the mix during the championship, occupying second place throughout the first three rounds. But she set out on the final round three shots behind Alice Hewson, who had reached the top of the leaderboard with a one-under par 71 in round three.
As the last round unfolded, Sophie drifted further back with three early bogeys and she reached the turn six shots adrift of Alice.
She remembered how Gabriella recounted her fortunes in one round in last year’s championship, when she was five-over par after seven holes but managed to score two-under par for the 18 holes. Sophie’s fortunes turned in a similar vein when she played the back nine in three-under for a level par total in the last round.
Meanwhile, Alice dropped four shots on her second nine and the title belonged to Sophie, by a single stroke.
Sophie was runner-up in the English U13 championship two years ago and last season won the East region girls’ title and the US Kids world championship. This year she’s been concentrating on school work, but has now returned to the forefront – armed with a new putter which is proving a most effective weapon.
Leading final scores
Par 288 (4x72) SS 75 CSS 75 75 74 74
297 Sophie Madden (West Essex) 75 74 76 72
298 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) 75 76 71 76
306 Annabel Bailey (Notts Ladies) 75 77 75 79
308 Eloise Healey (West Lancashire) 70 78 78 82
311 Elizabeth Prior (Foxhills) 78 81 74 78
313 Ainee O'Connor (Sundridge Park) 75 78 87 73
314 Kirsty Beckwith (Moortown) 77 77 79 81
315 Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) 76 83 79 77, Olivia Jackson (Oakdale) 84 77 77 77, Emily Lyle (Worksop) 79 81 76 79
Visit leaderboardphotography.com to view championship images. A selection are shown in our image gallery