“I want to learn from the best” – Lily May tees up star names at US Women’s Open

Lily May Humphreys has revealed how she burned the midnight oil to help set up what promises to be an exciting and educational week competing at the 75th US Women’s Open.

The 18-year-old will take part in her first Major championship when she joins the big guns of the LPGA Tour and LET this week at the Champions Club in Houston, Texas.

The thrill of competition is something that the England women’s squad member can’t wait to sample when the action starts for real on Thursday.

But almost as mouth-watering is the build-up to the main event – which she cleverly organised with her mum from the family home in Essex!

“The practice sheet went live one night at about 1am UK time a few weeks ago,” she admitted with a smile.

“Myself and my mum stayed up to make sure I was near the front of the queue for booking times.

“I wanted to take advantage of everything that goes along with being part of such a huge event – including practice days.

“I’m so excited at what lies ahead.

“I was able to book times with Stacy Lewis and Mel Reid, Jessica and Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson.

“I figured that I might as well try and learn from the best.

“These are the top, top players in the world and I have a chance to get close to them, watch how they play and prepare.

“For me as an amateur, that’s priceless.

“I want to see just what level they are at and what I need to do to eventually join them at that point.

“There was no point being shy about it – I just had to make the most of this opportunity.”

Humphreys has certainly landed some of the game’s big guns for those practice days on the Jackrabbit and Cypress Creek courses at the Champions Club.

Lewis is a two-time major champion – one of her wins coming at the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews.

Reid is a former England Golf graduate who recently celebrated her first win on the LPGA Tour at the Shoprite Classic in New Jersey.

The Korda sisters, meanwhile, competed for the USA at the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and have racked up multiple wins on the LPGA Tour and LET.

Thompson is still only 25, but with a major and 14 pro titles under her belt is one of the best role models for any aspiring amateur.

“I didn’t know if I would get into the event, but when I found out I qualified through my world ranking, it was great news,” admitted Humphreys, a member at Stoke By Nayland Golf Club.

“I’ve not really played in that many professional events – the Rose Ladies Series this year and one LET access event a few years ago are my only experiences.

“Most of those were one-day events, so this is all new for me. I just want to go, enjoy the week, learn new things and start off trying to make the cut.”

Along with her coach, Humphreys arrived in America on Friday to begin the preparations.

Getting used to the courses and the grain of the greens is key for a player who has not enjoyed any competitive golf since September.

“I’ve been to America before and played a good number of courses including the likes of Augusta, Sage Valley, Mission Hills and Quaker Ridge,” said the 2018 Curtis Cup player.

“Getting used to the different grasses out here can be tough.

“I remember when I first played in Florida, I would hit chips around the green and they would go about three feet!

“It looked as if I was duffing them, but it was all to do with getting used to the run and pace of the surfaces.”

Humphreys is joined in Texas by England colleague Emily Toy.

Both Humphreys and Toy were last week named in the initial GB&I squad for the 2021 Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy.

“It’s all happening at once,” admitted Humphreys. “I just can’t wait for this week -it’s really exciting.”

Photography: Leaderboard