England’s triumph and disappointment in French finals

Bronte Law

England faced disappointment and triumph on the last day of the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud, near Paris. Bronte Law was narrowly defeated in her bid to win the title, but Meghan MacLaren scored a resounding victory in the second flight Cartier Trophy.

Bronte, the top seed from Bramhall, Cheshire, lost 1 down to Celine Boutier of France in a 36-hole final which was peppered with birdies.

The French player, supported by a crowd of about 100 spectators, crucially birdied the par-five 35th hole to go one up and held on to win when the last was halved in par.

For most of the match Bronte held the advantage. The 17-year-old Curtis Cup player was three up after eight and didn’t lose a hole until the 9th, where she was beaten by a birdie.

On the second nine the players traded birdies, but Bronte was always at least two up and that was the score after 18 holes.

Boutier struck immediately after lunch, winning the 19th, but Bronte hit back with a birdie at the 21st to again be two up. However, Boutier whittled away at the deficit and was all-square after the 26th, before winning the 27th to move ahead in the match for the first time.

Bronte twice birdied holes to pull her opponent back to all-square but Boutier made the critical move with her birdie on the par five 35th hole. Both girls were below par for the match, with just one shot separating their scores.

Meanwhile, Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) also beat par as she dominated her 36-hole final against Clara Baena of Spain, winning 7/5.

Meghan, an England girl international, made a quick start, winning the 3rd, 6th, 7th 8th and 9th to be five up at the turn and that was also her score at the halfway stage.

After lunch she maintained the momentum and birdied the 19th to get to six-up. She lost the next hole but birdied the 21st and 24th to move to seven up. Her opponent won back two of the next four holes, but Meghan produced a run of three consecutive pars which closed out the match and gave her the title on the 31st hole.

Meghan enjoyed a fantastic run through the Cartier Trophy and was only once taken as far as the 16th hole.

Overall, the championship was a huge success for the England squad. Meghan MacLaren, together with Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) and Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham & St Annes), won the Vilmorin Cup, the nations’ team competition. The combination of Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Bronte Law and Lauren Taylor (Woburn) were third.

Bronte led the way as top qualifier for the championship matchplay and was joined in the knockout stages by Georgia, Emily, Holly, Lauren and Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’). Georgia reached the semi-finals after an all-England quarter final against Holly Clyburn. Emily reached the second round, while Lauren and Elizabeth both bowed out in the first round.

Performance Director Linda Bayman commented: “It’s been a great week. The girls all seemed to step up a gear, they putted well and played more aggressively. All the Continental countries were taking note of our players.”



England pair reach French championship finals

08 April 2012

England players are in two finals at the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud, near Paris. Top seed Bronte Law contests the main event, while Meghan MacLaren is aiming for the second flight title in the Cartier Trophy.

Bronte will face Celine Boutier of France in tomorrow’s 36-hole final of the Esmond Trophy. Meghan will play Spain’s Clara Baena in her final, also over 36 holes.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bronte, who is hoping it will be payback time! Last year, she played Boutier in the deciding match for the gold medal at the girls’ European team championship – and on that occasion France came out on top.

Bronte has every reason for optimism. She arrived in France, having been selected for the GB&I Curtis Cup team and having worked on her swing to the satisfaction of her coach. “I’m really happy with everything at the moment,” she said.

Today, the 17-year-old from Cheshire coasted past Shannon Aubert of France in the quarter-finals, piling on the pressure with sub-par golf and finishing birdie, par birdie as she closed out the match on the 13th.

In the semi-finals, she took on the tough challenge of Germany’s Quirine Eijkenboom. “She’s a very good player, she always hits fairways and greens and I knew I would have to make birdies to beat her,” said Bronte, who was four or five under par when she won on the 16th.

The German went ahead at the second, where she chipped in. But Bronte got matters back on level terms with a birdie on the 4th, and another on the 7th, to go one up. She was three up after 10, lost the 11th but promptly won the 12th with another birdie and maintained that margin for the rest of the match.

Meghan MacLaren, meanwhile, continued her impressive progress in the Cartier Trophy: so far she’s won on the 14th twice and only once has been taken as far as the 16th.

Today, she first defeated Denmark’s Nanna Madsen in the quarter finals, before easing past Emma Broze of France.

“I was disappointed not to qualify for the main matchplay but it’s nice to still have something to play for and to try to get as far as I can. I’m playing solid and I’m happy with my game,” she said.

She faced her toughest challenge of the day in her quarter final and was probably a couple under when she won on the 16th. In the afternoon, she took an early lead and didn’t let go, winning on the 14th and again was probably under par.

The day also produced an all-England quarter final in the Esmond Trophy between Georgia Hall, a Curtis Cup reserve, and Holly Clyburn, a Curtis Cup team member.

Georgia was determined to take the chance to shine and eventually ran out the winner on the 19th, after the players both faced similar putts of around 4ft. Georgia’s dropped, Holly’s lipped out.

“It was a really tough match and I had to grind it out on every hole,” said Georgia. “I knew it would be difficult and I decided to concentrate on what I was doing and not think about who I was playing.”

Georgia was two up after six, but Holly birdied the next three holes to go ahead. After that the lead swung to and fro, but it was Holly who went down the 18th one up after a birdie on 16. “I had a 20-footer on the last for birdie,” said Georgia. “I hadn’t holed anything all day, but that one went in and we went down the 19th.”

In the semi-final, she met Celine Boutier – and about 40 enthusiastic French supporters. Again Georgia was two up after six, but her opponent closed the gap and then moved ahead, eventually winning 3/2.

“I’ve been very happy with the way I’ve played this week,” said Georgia, who celebrates her 16th birthday on Thursday. “It’s my first time here and it’s a long, tiring week and you have to keep your concentration going.”

England has a fine record in this U21 championship in recent years. Florentyna Parker won the title in 2007, followed the next year by Rachel Jennings. Holly Clyburn won the Cartier Trophy in 2009.

England results
Esmond Trophy
Quarter finals
Bronte Law (Bramhall) beat Shannon Aubert (France) 6/5
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) beat Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) at 19th
Semi- finals
Law beat Quirine Eijkenboom (Germany) 3/2
Hall lost to Celine Boutier (France) 3/2

Cartier Trophy
Quarter finals
Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Nanna Madsen (Denmark) 3/2
MacLaren beat Emma Broze (France) 5/4


England trio reach French quarter–finals

07 April 2012

Three England players – Bronte Law, Holly Clyburn and Georgia Hall – have reached the quarter finals of the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud, near Paris.

One of them is guaranteed to reach the semi-finals of the Esmond Trophy, because Holly and Georgia will play each other tomorrow morning. Meanwhile Bronte, the top seed, will take on Shannon Aubert of France in her bid to reach the final four.

Bronte and Holly have both been picked for the 2012 GB&I Curtis Cup team while Georgia is a reserve.

Earlier in the matchplay, England’s Elizabeth Mallett and British champion Lauren Taylor both bowed out in the first round. Emily Taylor won her opening match after a battle royal which went to the 21st, but lost in the second round, narrowly beaten by the German player who had earlier accounted for Lauren.

In the Cartier Trophy, Meghan MacLaren sailed through her opening match to reach the quarter finals and will play Nanna Madsen of Denmark. This flight is contested by the top 16 players, aged under 20, who did not qualify for the Esmond.

England results

Esmond Trophy
Round one
Bronte Law (Bramhall) beat Molle Manon (France) 6/4
Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’) lost to Louise Gateau Chovelon 4/3
Lauren Taylor (Woburn) lost to Quirine Eijkenboom (Germany)
Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham & St Annes) beat Julie Finne-Ipsen (Denmark) at 21st
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) beat Jana Nedballa (Germany) 1 up
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) beat Roberta Roeller (Germany) 2/1.
Round two
Law beat Nicole Larsen (Denmark) 1 up
E Taylor lost to Eijkenboom 1 down
Hall beat Caroline Nistrup (Denmark) 4/3
Clyburn beat Ainhoa Olarra (Spain) 4/2

Cartier Trophy

Round one
Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Luna Sobron (Spain) 5/4


Double triumph for England at French U21 championship

06 April 2012

England hit the highlights at the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud today with a double triumph: victory in the Vilmorin Cup team competition while Bronte Law led the qualifiers for the matchplay.

England players dominated the qualifying and filled four of the top five places on the leaderboard after the two stroke play rounds. Bronte tied for first place with Spain’s Silvia Banon on six-under par and went on to claim top spot in a play-off, which the Cheshire teenager won on the second extra hole.

Georgia Hall, Emily Taylor and Elizabeth Mallett – whose five-under 66 was the low score of the tournament – were the next three qualifiers. They were followed by Holly Clyburn in 11th place and Lauren Taylor in 20th.

They all go through to the matchplay stages of the Esmond Trophy contested by the leading 32 players. Meghan MacLaren has qualified for the Cartier Trophy, contested by the next 16 players aged under 20.  

Meanwhile England 2, represented by Georgia Hall, Emily Taylor and Meghan MacLaren, won the Vilmorin Cup with a score of 274 – with the best two scores from three counting in each qualifying round. They beat France by one shot and were two shots clear of England I, represented by Holly Clyburn, Bronte Law and Lauren Taylor.

The players produced a host of birdies as they made their way into the matchplay. For example, Bronte was four-under for her back nine and finished her round with three consecutive birdies. Georgia had four birdies and an eagle in her round; Emily finished with four consecutive birdies; while Elizabeth Mallett had six birdies on her inward half. She scored three in a row from the 10th and from the 16th.

In tomorrow’s Esmond Trophy matchplay Bronte Law plays Molle Manon (France),  Elizabeth Mallett plays Louise Gateau-Chovelon (France), Lauren Taylor plays Quirine Eijkenboojk (Germany), Emily Taylor plays Julie Finne-Ipson (Denmark), Georgia Hall plays Jana Niedballa Germany ) and Holly Clyburn plays Roberta Roeller (Germany). In the Cartier Trophy Meghan MacLaren plays Luna Sobron (Spain).

England scores
Par 142 (2×71)
136 Bronte Law (Bramhall) 67 69
137 Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) 70, 67; Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 69 68
138 Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies) 72 66
140 Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) 68 72
143 Lauren Taylor (Woburn) 71 72
148 Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) 75 73
153 Sophie Godley (Lindrick) 74 79
159 Brogan Townend (Pleasington) 83 76

England’s Bronte Law leads in French U21 championship

05 April 2012

England Curtis Cup player Bronte Law shot four-under par 67 and shares the lead after the first qualifying round at the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud, near Paris.

The 17-year-old led an impressive charge by England squad members. Fellow Curtis Cup player Holly Clyburn is just one shot back on 68, while Emily Taylor and Georgia Hall also both beat par.

Bronte had six birdies in her round, including three in a row from the 3rd. She is tied at the top of the leaderboard with Spain’s Silvia Banon.

Holly Clyburn – another Curtis Cup player – was among eight competitors who returned scores of 68. She started with three birdies in the first four holes but was back to level at the turn, before playing the back nine in impeccable style: three birdies and six pars.

Emily Taylor got to four-under par after 15 holes, but will have been disappointed to bogey 16 and 18 to score 69. Georgia Hall enjoyed the opposite fortune, with birdies on the last two holes to return 70.

Meanwhile, British champion Lauren Taylor is on level par, with three bogeys on the outward half and three birdies on the inward nine. Elizabeth Mallett is one-over par and, in a share of 27th place, is currently just inside the cut mark for the main championship matchplay.

After tomorrow’s second round the top 32 players will qualify for the Esmond Trophy. The next 16 players aged under 20 will go forward to the Cartier Trophy knockout.

England squad scores:
Par 71
67 Bronte Law (Bramhall)
68 Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa)
69 Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham & St Annes)
70 Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak)
71 Lauren Taylor (Woburn)
72 Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’)
74 Sophie Godley (Lindrick)
75 Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough)
83 Brogan Townend (Pleasington)