A flying visit from Scotland paid off for Gemma Batty when she won the English women’s open match play championship at Holme Hall in Lincolnshire.
She signed off with a birdie as she beat Kent’s Cloe Frankish 4/3 in the final and said: “I am really, really pleased. I have always wanted to win a national title and to do it like this, without a practice round and not seeing the course as much as I’d like, is very special.
“I knew my game was good but I needed to prove it to myself and I’ve done that this week.”
Batty, 22, is a student at Stirling University and couldn’t get to Holme Hall in time for a practice round after playing in the World University Games. But, once through the stroke play stage of the championship, there was no stopping her.
“I’ve played really well, very solid,” said Batty, who was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and learned her golf at Pike Hills, but is now based in Scotland where she’s a member at Moffat.
Today, she made her way past Sophie Madden 2/1 in the semi-finals, to meet English U16 girls’ champion Cloe Frankish in the final.
Frankish, 17, (Chart Hills) had a marathon battle to reach the final, eventually defeating Georgina Blackman (Chelmsford) with a birdie on the 21st. It was the second time she had to dig deep to win in extra time during the championship.
When the final got underway Batty hit the birdie trail, notching up four by the time the match was over. She quickly got ahead, helped by a chip-in on the fourth, and was two up through five. She lost the eighth but pushed ahead on the back nine – despite a heavy downpour – winning the 11th, 12th and 14th before the 15th was halved in birdie.
“I am very happy,” said Batty (Image © Leaderboard Photography), who also defeated Georgina Coughlin (St Annes Old Links) and Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe) in earlier rounds.
Now she’s off to France for a university match against injured Servicemen in the Battleback Trophy and then to Croatia for the European University Games. Batty has also been a member at Trentham in Staffordshire and at St Annes Old Links in Lancashire before moving to Scotland.
For Frankish there was great disappointment but now her attention turns to the prospect of competing in qualifying for the Women’s British Open and in the English women’s amateur championship at West Lancashire.