Lancashire’s Hollie Muse completed a two-stroke win at the U18 Fairhaven Trophies, breathed a sigh of relief and declared: “I’m back!”
Muse, who became an England women’s international at the age of 14, had given up golf six months ago.
“I’d stopped playing, I was upset with my game and I wasn’t in a good place,” she explained. “I didn’t win anything last year and I thought I was never coming back”
But she missed the game, came back this season with a new approach and it has all paid off. She tied second in the Scottish girls’ championship, then shared third place in the Scottish women’s stroke play – and won the girls’ title at Fairhaven today.
“To win this is emotional for me,” said the 17-year-old from West Lancashire. “I am very happy.”
She finished the 72-hole international event at Fairhaven Golf Club, Lancashire, on three-under par, two ahead of Norfolk’s Amelia Williamson, who was girls’ runner-up for the second year in a row.
“Amelia played very good golf, she battled with me all the way round today and she gave nothing away,” said Muse. She confessed to feeling the nerves over the closing holes but she kept herself focussed by remembering advice from her first England coach, Pat Smillie.
“She told us ‘If you can play badly but still shoot a good score then you know you are a winner.’ I kept saying that to myself over the last six holes.” Muse certainly wasn’t playing badly, but the mantra helped her par the last four holes to keep her lead over Williamson, an England girl international.
During the championship she got as low as seven-under, helped by ball striking which saw her knock some drives over 300 yards, and by her solid putting.
The boys’ title was won in runaway style by Ludvig Aberg of Sweden who was two under par and 10 shots clear of the runner-up, George Raitt of Whetstone Leicestershire. Conor Gough (Stoke Park, BB&O), the English U14 boys’ champion tied third one nine-over.