English international Alice Hewson booked herself a place in next week’s AIG Women’s British Open after producing a last day charge to win the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Parkstone Golf Club in Dorset.
Hewson started the final day just inside the top-20 after opening rounds of 72, 70 and 73 but then stormed though the field with a six-under par 66 that included six birdies and two eagles.
That was enough to see her tie at the top of the leaderboard with Finland’s Krista Junkara on seven-under par 281. The pair were still level after a three-hole play-off before the English Curtis player won with a par on the second hole of sudden-death.
The new champion becomes just the fourth English player after Emma Duggleby (2000), Joanne Morley (1992) and most recently Bronte Law (2016) to lift the trophy and she can now look forward to spending the next week in the company of the world’s best players as they compete for this year’s fifth women’s major at Woburn.
“This is incredible,” said the Berkhamsted player moments after holing the winning putt. “Going into today I just went out there and tried to get as low as I could. I was brave out there and it paid off.
“I was quite far out of it this morning. I played really solid earlier in the week without really getting anywhere but today I made a lot of eagles and birdies. As I said before, I just tried to be brave. I gave my putts a little extra and it worked.
“Playing in the Women’s British Open is going to be absolutely incredible. It’s going to be my first major and being so close to home will to make it even more special. I can’t wait to get started.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to Krista,” she added. “It was a really great play-off. She played absolutely great all week. She’s been there or thereabouts all week. She made four pars in the play-off at a time when she was probably just as nervous as me. She played really well.”
Further down the leaderboard Italy’s Caterina Don closed with a two-under par 70 to clinch third place on 282 while Norway’s Franziska Sliper played the shot of the day when she holed out for an albatross on the sixth on her way to posting a 68 and finishing fourth on 284.
It was also a great week for Hewson’s English colleagues Annabell Fuller and Kirsten Rudgeley who finished tied-fifth alongside Sweden’s Linn Grant, Denmark’s Karen Fredgaard, Italy’s Virginia Bossi and Scottish third round leader Hannah Darling.