Bedfordshire teenager Sophie Mills shot an impressive net score of three-under par to lead the East region qualifiers for England Golf’s 2012 Grand Medal Final.
The 14-year-old from Wyboston Lakes scored net 71 and was three shots clear of the field at the East region medal final at John O’Gaunt Golf Club in Bedfordshire.
The event was contested by the best women club medal players from six Eastern counties and the top 10 qualified for the Grand Medal Final to be held at Worcestershire Golf Club on Saturday, June 23.
The 10, who will join qualifiers from five other regions to compete for the title of England’s champion medal player, are: Sophie Mills (Wyboston Lakes), Sarah Howe (Ipswich), Jean Jolley (Rushcliffe), Chelsea-Mae Laundon (Chelmsford), Amy Crowson (Aylesbury Vale), Dawn French (John O'Gaunt), Anna Fairs (Fynn Valley), Leah Plester (Theydon Bois), Tina Tuckwell (Cretingham) and Julie Richards (Letchworth).
All the regional finalists returned the best four scores at their club in the English Women’s Medals during 2011.
This will be Sophie’s second trip to the Grand Medal Final where she tied second last year, taking third place on countback. At that time she was playing off 11 handicap and has since reduced to eight – and another hefty cut is on its way after her performance at John O’Gaunt.
“I’m really excited about going back,” said Sophie. “And Dad’s excited too!” Her father, Stuart, is a former professional and caddies for her. He also got her interested in the game, which she has been playing seriously for just two years.
Sophie played steady golf in yesterday’s regional final, starting with seven straight pars. She had a birdie on the 17th and approached the last hole having dropped only three shots all day – only to take a double bogey. “I was disappointed, but it was still ok – and I did hole some good putts out there as well,” she said.
Net qualifying scores
Par 74, CSS 77, handicaps in brackets
71 Sophie Mills (Wyboston Lakes, 8)
74 Sarah Howe (Ipswich, 3), Jean Jolley (Rushcliffe, 19), Chelsea-Mae Laundon (Chelmsford, 12), Amy Crowson (Aylesbury Vale, 12), Dawn French (John O'Gaunt, 7), Anna Fairs (Fynn Valley, 19)
76 Leah Plester (Theydon Bois, 19)
77 Tina Tuckwell (Cretingham, 17), Julie Richards (Letchworth, 24).