Practice pays off as Hollie claims U13 crown
Practice paid off for Lancashire’s Hollie Muse when she became the new English U13 girls’ champion at Delamere Forest, Cheshire
The 12-year-old reaped the benefit of repeated practice rounds on the course to beat defending champion, Sammy Fuller of Surrey, by two shots.
Third place went to Worcestershire champion Lucy Walton, who scored a final round 74. Chloe Howard of Devon had the low round of the day with her one-over 73 and moved up into fourth place.
“I am just happy,” said Hollie, from West Lancashire. “I wanted this more than anything and I have practised all the time and come here for practice rounds.”
The third and final round of the 54-hole championship developed into a battle royal between the two leading players. Hollie held a three-shot lead after two rounds, having scored 85 and one-under par 71, while Sammy shot 83, 76.
It was Sammy who took the early initiative in the last round, playing the first three holes in one-under par, compared to Hollie’s three-over. But after six straight pars Hollie once again took the lead at the turn – and never again slipped behind.
However, the players were tied again after Hollie double bogeyed the 13th, but Sammy slipped behind with a bogey on 15 and a triple on the short 16th.
Despite a bogey on the 17th, Hollie had the luxury of a three-shot lead as she teed off on the 18th. Sammy refused to give up fighting and narrowed the gap with a birdie four on the last, but Hollie sank a six-footer for par, a final round score of 78 and the title.
“I was so nervous over that putt, but I told myself to just hit it in the middle,” said Hollie. “I am sorry for Sammy, she did play very well and she’s a good playing partner.”
Hollie got her first handicap – of 22 - only last year and is already down to four. She trains with England Golf’s Birdie squad and quickly paid tribute to coach Pat Smillie and to the Lancashire ladies who have also fostered her talent and included her in their training programme.
Par 73 SS 74 CSS 74 75 73
234 Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) 85 71 78
236 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 83 76 77
240 Lucy Walton (Worcestershire) 84 82 74
241 Chloe Howard (Boringdon Park) 90 78 73
243 Ashley Croft (Stock Brook Manor) 77 87 79
245 Megan Clarke (Cleckheaton & District) 85 83 77
248 Chloe Frankish (Chart Hills) 82 79 87
253 Jessica Hall (Bishop Auckland) 86 87 80
255 Billie-Jo Smith (Woodhall Spa) 88 89 78
256 Martha Lewis (St. George's Hill) 89 87 80
258 Olivia Hamilton (Cleckheaton & District) 89 84 85
261 Ana Dawson (Peel Ladies) 87 86 88
265 Emily Brennan (Trentham) 91 89 85
266 Katie-Jane Stanley (Manchester) 94 89 83
267 Daniella Ubasa (Pinner Hill) 89 93 85
269 Natasha Slater (Furness) 95 87 87
272 Priyanka Parmar (Pinner Hill) 89 91 92
278 Megan Dennis (Woburn) 84 91 103