England’s Alice Hewson birdied her way to a superb six-under 66 today and a two-shot victory in the Scottish U16 open stroke play championship at Strathmore.
“We had really good scoring conditions today and the course was there to be taken – and I took it!” said Alice, 15, from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire (image © SLGA.)
She had eight birdies in her round and finished the 36-hole championship on five-under, two clear of Sophie Madden, the English U15 champion from West Essex, who had five birdies and an eagle en route to a second-round 68.
Alice, a past winner of the English U13 title, becomes the fourth successive England player to hold this title, following Cheshire’s Bronte Law, Lancashire’s Emily Taylor and last year’s winner, Gabriella Cowley of Essex.
Alice also helped England to win the team trophy, combining with Sophie Madden and Lancashire’s Eloise Healey (pictured below) to finish eight shots ahead of Ireland. The England 2 team of Emma Allen (Meon Valley) and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) were third. All five England squad players finished in the top ten of the individual competition.
Eloise Healey, from West Lancashire, led at the halfway stage with a fine level par score of 72 in cold and breezy conditions, one ahead of Alice Hewson, Sophie Madden, and Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey.
The second day brought much better scoring conditions and Olivia Mehaffey was quick to take advantage, setting the early pace with a three-under 69 which made her leader in the clubhouse on two-under for 36 holes.
Soon, though a battle royal was being played out between Alice and Sophie. Alice took the championship lead when she played the front nine in four-under par, but she dropped behind after a double bogey on the par four 11th, where she went out of bounds. It was the only hole where she dropped shots all day.
Sophie, meanwhile, playing in the group in front, birdied the 10th and eagled the 12th to share the lead and then picked up birdies on 14 and 15 to get to five-under par for the round.
Alice, in turn, responded admirably to the disappointment of the 11th with three birdies in a row from the 13th and was also five-under for the day as she approached the closing three holes.
The par five 18th proved to be the decider. Sophie bogeyed the hole, while Alice knocked a rescue club on to the green and rolled her first putt stone dead for a birdie.
“I had a rough idea what Sophie was doing on the back nine, but I hadn’t got a clue what she had done on the way out,” said Alice. “I just went out there to make as many birdies as I could.”
England’s sixth squad member, Victoria Mallett of Sutton Coldfield Ladies’, had to pull out of the event after suffering chicken pox.
Leading final scores
Par 144 (2×72) CSS 72
139 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) 73 66.
141 Sophie Madden (West Essex) 73 68.
142 Olivia Mehaffey (IRE) 73 69.
145 Julie McCarthy (IRE) 77 68.
146 Fiona Liddell (SCO) 76 70, Emma Allen (Meon Valley) 74 72, Eloise Healey (West Lancashire) 72 74.
148 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 74 74, Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) 75 73.
149 Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) 79 70, Louisa Brunt (Ashton-under-Lyne) 75 74.