England girl international Amelia Williamson took the first step in a title defence when she won the Hampshire Rose by a stroke.
She was three-under par for the 36 holes at a very wet North Hants Golf Club, adding her name to a trophy which has previously been held by top professionals Charley Hull and Georgia Hall.
Next step for the 17-year-old from Royal Cromer, Norfolk, is the Roehampton Gold Cup on Saturday. It’s paired with the Hampshire Rose to create a 72-hole event, offering world ranking points for the players and the overall winner receives the Gold Rose Trophy.
Williamson became the first winner of the combined event last year and has her sights set on retaining the trophy, which was given by Olympic champion Justin Rose.
The weather omens are encouraging. “I’ve looked at the forecast for Saturday and it’s wet,” said Williamson, who managed similar conditions at North Hants in style.
“There were only five or six holes when you didn’t need waterproofs,” she said. “But I always gave myself chances to make par and holed out well from under 10ft.”
She was two-under 70 in the morning, followed by one-under 71 in the afternoon and finished a shot ahead of Kath O’Connor (West Byfleet, 68 74). Two more members of the England Golf girls’ squad filled the next two places: Martha Lewis (St George’s Hill, 72 71) and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland, 71 74).