English Women’s Amateur – Day Three: Super Stephens survives Woad fightback

Katie Stephens admitted a relaxed attitude helped her produce the shock of the day in the English Women’s Amateur Championship as she ousted Lottie Woad in the round of 32.

The Middlesbrough golfer had held a three-hole lead with four to play but Woad – a member of England’s gold medal squad at the recent Euros – continued to battle back as she won two of the next three holes to force the match down the 18th.

Stephens held her nerve in front of a gathered crowd at Lindrick Golf Club to birdie the par three, seal the victory and move into the last 16 of the competition where she will face North Hants’ Gemma Burgess.

“I’m absolutely over the moon! I didn’t even make the cut last year so it is already a couple of steps better,” she admitted.

“I went out there thinking I didn’t really have anything to lose. I just tried to keep it steady and take the chances when they came but it did get quite tight at times.

“My target in the competition was to make the cut because I haven’t been playing my best golf recently so I was really happy to make it through to the match play.”

Also joining Stephens in the last 16 are Ellena Slater (pictured above) and Ellise Rymer who both claimed tense 19th-hole victories over Hyun-Ji Kim and Sophie Anand respectively.

Rymer kept her cool in the pressure situation to ensure she will return to Lindrick on Friday for a clash with West Kent’s Ellie Burdis and the Lincoln golfer was both relieved and delighted to make it through.

“It was a really tight match, literally up and down all the way. I was one down stood on the 18th tee and just thought to myself ‘right, you have to do something special here,’ she said.

“I managed to birdie the 18th and do well on the extra hole so luckily I came away with the win so I’m very glad to get through to the next stage.

“I’ve come into this tournament on the back of coming fifth at the English Girls’ event last week and I’ve been striking and putting it really well.

“All I wanted to do was to make it through to the last 16 tomorrow because I know there are some really strong players in the field so I’m really happy to have done that.”

View full results from the round of 32

It was another entertaining afternoon of action in South Yorkshire as Abbie Teasdale, the top seed from stroke play qualifying, eased her way into the next round with comfortable 5&4 win over Millie Thompson.

The remainder of the slots in the draw were filled by Ella Butteriss, Alexandra Phelps, Jessica Brown, Ana Dawson, Harriet Barker, Rachel Gourley, Isabelle Simpson, Davina Xanh, Nicola Slater and Maria Toledo Bailey.

Draw for the last 16

Abbie Teasdale vs Ella Butteriss

Alexandra Phelps vs Jessica Brown

Ana Dawson vs Harriet Barker

Rachel Gourley vs Ellena Slater

Katie Stephens vs Gemma Burgess

Isabelle Simpson vs Davina Xanh

Nicola Slater vs Maria Toledo Bailey

Ellie Burdis vs Ellise Rymer

Photography/video credit: Leaderboard