England’s under 16 girls today notched a win in the challenge match against Switzerland and at the same time took an important step on their golfing journeys.
A 4.5-1.5 victory against a strong Swiss side at Heswall Golf Club was huge reward for the quartet of players tasting this level of competition as a team for the first time.
Amelia Wan, Hyun-Ji Kim, Imogen Williamson and Ellen Yates gelled well as a group and each chipped in with a contribution to the winning margin.
The double act of Williamson and Wan put the first point on the board with a 5&4 win against Sarah Mebelhart and Sophie Sindersberger as the morning foursomes were halved to leave the match balanced at 1-1 going into the four singles matches.
England then came through strongly in the head-to-head encounters.
Williamson, from Delamere Forest, got the better of Ladina Luder with a victory on the final hole.
Wan – playing out of Hollinwell – defeated Sindersberger by 2&1.
West Hill’s Yates beat Sarah Ueberlhart by a convincing 5&3 margin and Kim – from Royal Wimbledon – enjoyed the honour of getting the team over the line when she secured a half in her match on 18 with Ella Levy.
On a grey and blustery day on the Wirral, England’s youngsters stood up to not only the conditions but the pressure of playing for their country in front of spectators and officials.
Jenny Henderson, assistant performance manager for women’s golf, admitted: “Today has been a fantastic experience for the girls who each performed superbly to contribute to the win.
“It’s always nice to win these matches, but it’s just as important for the players to experience the thrill of playing for their country and deal with the nerves that goes with it.
“To hit that first tee shot or hole a three-footer is a real test in these circumstances. All four of the girls should take confidence away from this match having reacted so well to this challenge.
“I was also impressed with how they played as a team and responded to the different dynamics of a team environment.
“The level of player we are getting through the regional squads is of a very, very high standard and that’s good for us moving forward.
”I must also thank Heswall Golf Club for making us feel so welcome and the officials and county representatives who gave up their time to add to a fantastic day of golf.”
Williamson was rightly proud of winning both her singles and foursomes match and spoke for the team when she said: “It feels really good to have won representing my country.
“I was a little nervous at the start but soon got used to it.
“It was great playing as a team and having someone else just to confirm your thoughts when playing a shot.
“I learned a lot from the experience and will now take that away and try to build it into my game.”