May the force be with you – Lily set for 2020

Lily May Humphreys has revealed how her ambitions for 2020 are being fuelled by the inspirational Bronte Law and top tips from Annika Sorenstam.

Essex county player Humphreys enjoyed a stunning 2019 season winning both the England Golf women’s and girls’ orders of merit.

On top of this, the 17-year-old won individual events in Sweden, Wales and Ireland and earned another four top ten finishes in tournaments staged in England, Italy and France.

In an England shirt, Humphreys helped her country win the Home Internationals and defeat Spain in a challenge match.

There were appearances for Great Britain and Ireland at the Astor and Vagliano Trophies and a call-up to the Europe side for the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

While in Scotland, Humphreys was able to watch the Solheim Cup drama unfold as Europe came from behind to beat America with the final stroke of the final match on the final day of play.

Suzann Pettersen may have holed the winning putt, but England Golf graduate Law’s part in the victory should not be understated.

Humphreys had a front row seat as Law closed out her singles match against Ally McDonald on the 17th green to set the stage for the Pettersen finale.

That moment, along with one-to-one advice from legendary Swede Sorenstam last summer is etched on her mind going into the 2020 season.

“Watching Bronte Law (pictured below) on the final day of the Solheim was inspiring,” said the former British Girls’ Amateur champion.

“I was beside the 17th green when she closed out her match and watching on the big screen as Suzann holed the winning putt.

“The noise was incredible.

“It was so exciting and knowing that Bronte was part of the England Golf set-up just a few years ago and is now playing at that level really gives you something to aim for.

“Meeting Annika earlier in the year was also great.

“Playing in and winning her tournament in Sweden came at the end of a fantastic run of form for me.

“Annika put on a golf clinic during the event and as I was doing well in the tournament, I got to hit some shots with her.

“She told me to practise everything about my game – not to neglect anything and that’s something I’ve taken on board for this season.”

Humphreys had another chance to pick Sorenstam’s brains and observe her at close quarters when she took part in the Annika Invitational USA event last week and finished a highly creditable sixth.

Experiences like this in St Augustine, Florida are priceless for Humphreys as she continues to learn her trade.

Going into the new season, Humphreys can build on an incredible last year.

Winning the Welsh Ladies’ Open Stroke Play, the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play and the Annika Europe in the space of five weeks in May and June was a phenomenal achievement.

The fact the golfer from Stoke by Nayland also shoehorned in a runner up spot at the English Women’s Amateur Championship in the middle of her winning streak showed just how hot her game was in the early part of summer 2019.

But there’s no time for Humphreys to rest on her laurels as she aims high in 2020.

In April, she will join England colleagues Annabell Fuller, Bel Wardle and Emily Toy at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.

The opportunity to play the event for a second successive season is an exciting prospect after her debut last year.

“Playing at Augusta was amazing – a place I’d only ever seen on TV,” added Humphreys.

“I didn’t recognise some of the holes. The green at the 12th hole for example is so small in real life compared to on TV.

“It was great playing the course, though, and just for fun I even managed to skim the ball across the pond at the 16th and hit the green!”

And then there’s the thrill of representing England again as Humphreys and the squad target success at Home Internationals, Europeans and, hopefully, world championships.

”I enjoy the team events as the spirit is so good.

“There’s plenty to aim for in 2020,” confirmed Humphreys who does not turn 18 until March.

“I will also look at going to LPGA Tour School at the end of the summer and try to win my card there so it’s an exciting time.”

Photograph credits: Pat Cashman, Leaderboard