Lily May Humphreys confirmed her status as one of England’s brightest prospects during a dazzling 2019 season.
Now the 17-year-old from Stoke by Nayland will look to shine again in 2020.
It was no surprise that an impressive run of results and consistency of performance allowed the young Essex golfer to win both the 2019 England Golf Women’s and Girls’ Order of Merit titles in the same year. An incredible feat.
For the women’s title, Bel Wardle was Humphreys’ nearest threat with Women’s Amateur Champion Emily Toy next on the list. Mimi Rhodes was the closest challenger for the girls’ crown.
Humphreys, though, was able to sit back over the Christmas period and reflect on a season laced with success from start to finish.
“I was really pleased with the way things went in 2019 and winning both the Women’s and Girls’ Orders of Merit in the same year was amazing,” admitted the teenager.
“I wasn’t aware that I was in with a chance of winning until my mum mentioned it prior to the final counting event.
“I was paired with Bel for the first two days and we both played solidly, but we didn’t mention the order of merit.
“It’s not the sort of thing to bring up when you are both competing for the same thing and we just played our normal games.
“It’s an honour to have come out on top especially winning both at the same time. Really special.”
Humphreys proved she was the best in England over a season that also saw her enhance her growing reputation on the European and world stage.
Three wins in three different countries (Ireland, Wales and Sweden) as well as runner up places in two key English events and further two top tens at top events in France and Italy were just some of the individual highlights of 2019.
A trip to hallowed turf in Georgia to play in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship was another standout moment for Humphreys as golf smashed through outdated gender barriers.
“Playing at Augusta was amazing – a place I’d only ever seen on TV,” added Humphreys who has earned an invite back to the tournament for 2020.
“I didn’t recognise some of the holes. The green at the 12th hole for example is so small in real life compared to on TV.
“It was great playing the course, though, and just for fun I even managed to skim the ball across the pond at the 16th and hit the green!”
However, it wasn’t just in solo events that Humphreys rose to prominence.
Although still eligible for the girls’ squad, Humphreys proved she could thrive in the women’s team and will once again be a key member of that group in the season ahead as they look to defend their Home Internationals title and advance in the European and world championships.
There was also a week to savour at the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles as Humphreys represented team Europe against their American counterparts.
“The year started off for me with a few events abroad and finishing 17th in the Portuguese Amateur was a boost to my confidence early in the season,” added Humphreys who made her Curtis Cup debut as a 16-year-old in 2018.
“The first event I won was in May at the Welsh Ladies’ Stroke Play and the next week I won the Irish Women’s Stroke Play.
“The following week I then came second in the English Women’s Amateur Championship losing in a play-off.
“I was on one of those runs of form that are rare in golf, but when I arrived in Sweden to play in the Annika Europe event in June I played terribly in practise. I was hitting is SO bad.
“Something just clicked again for me in the tournament and I was so positive again.
“Playing for England was great too. I enjoyed the Spain match at Formby and getting to play the men’s course there was great even though the weather on day one wasn’t kind.
“The rain for the Home Internationals at Downfield also meant that play was restricted to singles and it took about 12 hours and three breaks in play to get the games finished.
“But I enjoy the team events as the spirit is so good.”
On the face of it, it will be tough for Humphreys to top 2019 in the twelve months ahead, but she has goals for the new year as an individual and as part of the England team set-up.
“There’s plenty to aim for,” confirmed Humphreys who does not turn 18 until March.
“I will also look at going to LPGA Tour School at the end of the summer and try to win my card there so it’s an exciting time.”
Welsh Ladies’ Open Stroke Play – winner
Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play – winner
Annika Europe – winner
English Women’s Amateur – 2nd
English Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay – 2nd
Italian International Ladies’ Championship – 5th
Trophee Esmond – 9th
Major Champions Invitational – 14th
German Girls Open – 16th
Portuguese International Ladies’ Amateur Championship – 17th
European Ladies’ Amateur Championship – 17th
R&A Women’s Amateur Championship – last 32
R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship – last 64
Competed at first ever Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship
England V Spain – winner
Women’s Home Internationals – winner
Member of Team Europe at Junior Solheim Cup
Member of England team at European Ladies’ team championship (5th with team T14 as individual)
Member of GB&I team in Vagliano Trophy
Member of GB&I team at Astor Trophy
Member of England team at World Junior Girls’ championship