England international Bronte Law rolled in three consecutive birdie putts to seal victory in the Cartier Trophy at St Cloud, near Paris, today and claim the title of French open U18 champion.
She beat Jessica Vasilic of Sweden by 3/2, having led throughout the 36-hole final and getting to six-up at one stage in the afternoon.
The result was a most satisfactory conclusion for the 18-year-old Curtis Cup player from Bramhall, Cheshire, who started the week with putting woes. “I was hitting the ball very well, but really, really struggling with the putting and taking over 36 putts a round,” said Bronte.
“But I managed to work my way into it during the week and it’s 10 times better now. Today I finished birdie, birdie, birdie, holing two from 6ft and then a 25-footer on the last to win.
“This is a good trophy to win and, as I’m revising very hard for my exams, it’s great way to start the season,” added Bronte, who will soon be sitting her A2 exams before heading to California and UCLA in the early autumn.
The final was played in very windy conditions: “It was very tricky, you had to grind it out, but I don’t mind the wind,” said Bronte. She was four up at lunch, having played the first 18 holes in one-under par, and after two holes of the afternoon round she was six-up.
But then her opponent fought back, narrowing the gap to just one hole after the 12th. Bronte wasn’t worried: “She holed a few putts, but I was still playing well and I told myself I would hole a few before long. So I just kept playing my game and it worked out very well in the end.”
Bronte’s putting problems were most acute during the 36-hole stroke play qualifying of the French Lady Junior Championship and cost her a place in the matchplay stages for the Esmond Trophy, the U21 crown, in which she was runner-up last year.
But she qualified comfortably for the U18 Cartier Trophy and, after lengthy putting sessions with England coach Steve Robinson, she eased through the rounds, defeating opponents from Belgium, Spain and Germany to reach the final.
She was joined in the Cartier Trophy by Annabel Dimmock of Wentworth, who lost two-down in the first round. In the Esmond Trophy, Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) reached the quarter finals, while Olivia Winning (Rotherham) and Charlotte Thompson (Channels) both qualified for the first round.
Bronte’s win keeps the Cartier Trophy in English hands after last year’s success by Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough). Previous winners also include Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) who is now playing her first season on the Ladies European Tour