English Women’s Amateur – Day Three: Wardle ousts defending champion

Bel Wardle won three of the last four holes to knock the 2020 champion Emily Price out of the English Women’s Amateur Championship in the round of 32.

At the end of a topsy-turvy encounter in blustery conditions at Moortown Golf Club, Wardle powered home to win by two holes.

The 2017 English Women’s Stroke Play champion now faces a meeting with Danielle Hardwick on Friday and the Prestbury golfer says she will take confidence from today’s victory.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match because I’d played with Emily in the stroke play rounds and we played to a very similar standard,” Wardle said.

“For a long time it was only 1 up either way but then I birdied the 15th and was able to take it on from there.

“It was pretty windy out there and there was one shot where I got caught out pretty badly. You just have to judge which club to play each shot with though and I felt like I managed that well today.”

Also joining Wardle in the last 16 are the top two seeds from qualifying, Annabell Fuller and Hannah Screen, as they saw off valiant challenges from Hyun-Ji Kim and Ella Mason respectively.

Amelia Williamson also came through a tricky clash with fellow England international Mimi Rhodes to progress to the last 16, but she needed a strong performance on the back nine to make it through.

The Hunstanton golfer had caddied for her mum Tracey as she picked up the Senior Women’s Stroke Play trophy last month, but it was a case of roles reversed this time and Williamson Jnr was delighted to have her mum accompanying her on her round.

“It was really nice,” she exclaimed. “Mum has caddied for me before and she knows my game well but more than that, it’s someone to talk to and have funny chats with. It helps to relax me because Mum doesn’t get too involved and lets me make my own decisions.

“It was always going to be a tough match because Mimi is a solid player who is in the England squad as well. There were tough conditions today so I thought anywhere around par would be a good score and that’s the way it turned out.

“I feel like I’ve got the game to go all the way this week. Admittedly, I did struggle in the stroke play at times but the wind has made me go back to basics and I’m excited because today was the best I’ve played this week.”

View full results from the round of 32

There was a scare for top seed Fuller but she survived an outstanding comeback from Royal Wimbledon golfer Kim to book her place in the last 16.

The Roehampton Club player was 4 up through the first 10 holes before being pulled back to all-square by Kim’s excellent display on the back nine but she regained her composure to seal a 1-up victory.

Despite the nervy nature of her win, Fuller was delighted to make it through to the last 16 of the competition.

“I thought I played well for the whole game,” she said. “I misjudged the wind a couple of times and left it short or sent it just past but there’s nothing I can do about that apart from learn from it. It’s not due to be as windy for the rest of the week so that’s a good thing.”

“Hyun-Ji played really well after the first nine holes and putted superbly so it wasn’t an easy match. We both made birdies on the 10th and I think that swung the momentum in her favour but it was still a good win for me.”

Draw for the last 16

Annabell Fuller vs Lily Hirst

Katy Yates vs Shannon O’Dwyer

Ellie Gower vs Kirsten Rudgeley

Mia Eales-Smith vs Harriet Lynch

Hannah Screen vs Davina Xanh

Abigail Rowlands vs Amelia Williamson

Danielle Hardwick vs Bel Wardle

Jess Baker vs Louise Burke


Photography credit: Leaderboard