Day Three – Women’s Amateur: Eagle-eyed Lily hopes for another final flourish

Lily May Humphreys holed a spectacular wedge shot for eagle to help keep alive her dream of winning the English Women’s Amateur Championship for a second time.

The England women’s squad player was the last to book her slot in Friday’s quarter finals after nailing a 2&1 win over Woburn’s Megan Dennis.

Humphreys – runner up in this event last year and a winner in 2017 – will now face England girls’ squad player Lottie Woad in the last eight.

Also through to the quarters are stroke play winner Thalia Kirby, current England internationals Mimi Rhodes, Amelia Williamson and Rosie Belsham, defending champion Ellen Hume and former English Women’s Open Stroke Play champion Emily Price.

Humphreys (pictured above) is running into form at just the right time and she was helped in her round of 32 match by holing out from the 15th fairway on the Hotchkin Course before clinching victory two holes later.

“That was quite a way to end a 14-hole par streak,” said Humphreys who enjoyed a ding-dong battle with Dennis throughout a quality match.

“I hit a three-iron off the tee and it landed on the left side of the fairway.

“I had 106 yards left, the pin was middle left and I hit my 50 degree wedge aiming it up the right side. The idea was to let the large bank take the ball down to the hole.

“I hit it where I wanted and started to put the club in the bag and then I heard a shout which let me know that I’d holed it.

“Megan dropped shots here and there but birdied 14 and 16 to push all the way. It made it tough. I got one and she took it back. She played really well.

“I’m glad that I’m back playing like I was last year – I’ve been hitting it well off the tee but the irons were letting me down.

“I didn’t hole too many putts today, but the game was better.

“I went into the match thinking that pars would be good. I’m not normally the best at match play, but if I kept giving myself birdie chances and making easy pars then it helps.

“You can then wait for an opponent to slip up and give you a hole.”

In 2019 Hume pipped Humphreys at the first play off hole to win the title.

That has only fuelled the 18-year-old’s desire to get to the final again.

The Essex golfer added: “I’d like to get to the final again. I’ve only played this championship twice and have won it and come second. If I can get to the last day I’ll be happy.

“It’s a 36-hole final and you don’t really get many of them in women’s golf. It would be exciting to play in my first one.

“But first comes Friday. Lottie is playing well and has been since lockdown, but if I perform like I did today tee to green, I hope more putts can roll in.”

Top seed Kirby’s serene play from the stroke play rounds continued into the match play as she secured a place in the last eight with a 4&3 victory over Kirby Muxloe’s Lianna Bailey.

Mimi Rhodes – boosted in confidence by this summer’s appearances in the Rose Ladies Series saw off the threat of Harriet Lynch.

Hertfordshire’s Hume has played effortlessly and claimed a comprehensive win over Thalia Martin.

Thursday’s Round of 16 scores

Thalia Kirby bt Lianna Bailey 4&3

Mimi Rhodes bt Harriet Lynch 4&2

Emily Price bt Emily Toy 3&2

Amelia Williamson bt Esme Hamilton 4&2

Ellen Hume bt Thalia Martin 7&5

Rosie Belsham bt Annabell Fuller 5&4

Lottie Woad bt Jessica Bailey 4&3

Lily May Humphreys bt Megan Dennis 2&1

 

Friday’s Quarter-final matches

Thalia Kirby v Mimi Rhodes

Emily Price v Amelia Williamson

Ellen Hume v Rosie Belsham

Lottie Woad v Lily May Humphreys

 

Full details, tee times, interviews, videos and an image gallery are available on the English Amateur Championship homepage.

Photograph credit: Leaderboard