Hayley’s pride at US college challenge

Hayley Davis

England international Hayley Davis took her American university team to within touching distance of national glory.

And, although they were pipped to the top college title on the 19th hole of her match, Davis spoke afterwards of her pride at the achievement.

“It was tough and not the end it was meant to be,” she said in a television interview. “But I had a great day and it was a great match.”

She added: “I’m so proud of my team for giving me the chance to win for them.”

Davis, 22, from Ferndown in Dorset, has just crowned her four years at Baylor University in Texas by playing a crucial role in helping the women’s golf team to reach the NCAA Division 1 championship for only the third time.

They then played their way through a marathon of stroke play and match play to eventually reach the final against Stanford. The match was neck-and-neck and, with two wins apiece, the result was decided by Davis’s game.

She produced a brilliant shot on the 16th, hitting from a marshy, muddy spot to set up a most unlikely birdie and put her two up. But her opponent hit back, squaring the match on the 18th and winning the 19th to give Stanford the title.

However, second place in the championship is easily Baylor’s best-ever finish and their coach, Jay Goble, paid tribute to Davis. “There's never been a player like Hayley Davis at Baylor. It's been amazing to have her on the team the last four years,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Baylor said in another tweet: “Huge thank you to Hayley Davis for putting Baylor Women's Golf on the map. We're so proud of you.”

Davis, the reigning English stroke play champion and a member of the England Golf women's squad, will be returning to Baylor in August – to concentrate on finishing her degree.