English Girls’ Championship – Final Day: Fantastic Fullbrook becomes champion in Cheshire!

Sophia Fullbrook fired an epic final round of 62 (-10) to claim the 2022 English Girls’ Open Amateur Championship title at The Wilmslow Golf Club.

The Melbourne golfer produced the round of her life when it mattered most to secure a miraculous comeback.

With 18 holes to go, Fullbrook trailed Ireland’s Rebekah Gardner by 10 shots.

By the finish, Fullbrook had clawed that back to win by two shots on a score of -13.

At the halfway stage of the competition, Ireland’s Rebekah Gardner led the way on -6 with Fullbrook just one shot behind.

However, Gardner posted a superb third round score of 65 to move onto -13 with 18 holes to go.

As the leading two players coming into the third and fourth rounds, both golfers were grouped together in the same two-ball and were the last off the tee.

The pressure was on Gardner to maintain her advantage and Fullbrook knew she had to be aggressive if she was to claw back the lead.

The young English golfer came out of the blocks quickly with a birdie on the first which set the tone for things to come.

More birdies followed at the third, fourth and sixth holes, before a brilliant eagle on the seventh.

Fullbrook then rounded off the front nine with another birdie on the eighth to make the turn at -10 (-7 for the round).

That ramped up the pressure on Ireland international Gardner who had dropped two shots and drifted back to -11.

At the end of the 12th hole, the tide turned completely as Fullbrook birdied, and Gardner could only manage a par.

From then on, it was advantage Fullbrook, who kept calm on a cool, drizzly day in Cheshire.

Coming down the 18th, there were still two shots in it and, after hitting the green with her third shot, Fullbrook had the chance to land yet another birdie.

However, this one was a little trickier from the back of the green and despite her best efforts to hole the putt, she left it just short and tapped in for a par.

Gardner herself could only match the score of Fullbrook on the final hole which meant the golfer from The Melbourne snatched victory by a two-shot margin.

England Golf president-elect Chris Pascall presented Fullbrook with the trophy and what special meaning it had too – 50 years on from her winning the same competition in 1972.

Fullbrook, a worthy champion after four rounds of 72,67,74 and 62 was overjoyed to have claimed the title.

She said: “I’m very pleased with my final round.

“It feels insane [to be English Girls’ champion]. After my third round, I knew I had to go low if I wanted to do it and luckily I did.

“The birdies just kept coming! My putts were finally dropping compared to this morning and I was just trying to stay patient.

“It was a bit more stressful coming down the back nine, so I was trying to do my best to hold myself together.”

When speaking about the highlight of her round, Sophia added: “The eagle on seven. That’s when I finally knew that it could be a good round.

“I kept trying to chase it as much as I could. When we got to nine I knew things were getting quite close, so I was trying to continue that onto the back nine and luckily it worked!”

England girls’ squad player Olivia Lee was third on her birthday after a valiant final round effort of 69 put her in the mix on -6. However, the scene of celebration was set for Fullbrook and her astonishing -10 round to win the title.

Imogen Williamson of Delamere Forest finished fourth on -3 and was awarded the Hazards Salver for the top performing under 16 in the field.

Full leaderboard