Fifteen-year-old Lily May Humphreys today became one of the youngest winners of the English women’s amateur championship.
She scored a one-shot win over Hampshire’s Emma Allen (Meon Valley) and Lincolnshire’s India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) at Lindrick, Yorkshire – after a gutsy fightback over the closing holes.
Humphreys, from Stoke by Nayland, Essex, led throughout the championship until midway through the final round. She had set out on the last 18 with a two shot lead but, after dropping four shots on the way to the turn, she found herself a stroke behind Allen.
However, she played the back nine in two-under par to Allen’s one-over to score her narrow victory. It’s the latest and biggest in a long string of titles amassed by the teenager – and a very special one.
“It’s a different feeling to all my other wins and it definitely feels better because I knew I had fallen behind and I had to make myself get ahead again. I had to fight for it at the end and it really encouraged me to think I could get back,” said Humphreys.
She had special thanks for her caddy, Yorkshire’s Charlie Daughtrey. They played together in the Sunningdale Foursomes and often caddy for each other, so his knowledge of Humphreys’ game was invaluable, particularly on the greens.
Her early problems in the round stemmed from missed putts and she remarked: “Charlie helped me read the putts and encouraged me when I hit a good shot and I just got it back together. I started hitting good shots and if I missed a putt it was for a birdie, which felt better.”
She played the back nine in bogey-free two-under, her best performance of the week and it proved the title clincher. She birdied the par five 14th, hitting the green with a four-iron and then taking a steady two putts. “That got some adrenalin going,” she said.
Humphreys followed up immediately with another birdie on the 15th, where a long drive left her just over 60 yards to the hole. Her pitch finished 12ft away and she rolled in the putt.
Ahead of her, Allen bogeyed the 18th, and when Humphreys finished with three straight pars the title was hers.
Now she’s got a couple of days at home before she sets off to Norway to represent England in the European Young Masters.
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