Yorkshire teenager Nicola Slater completed the best five days of her golfing life so far when she won the English women’s open match play championship at Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire.
She clinched the trophy with a 3/2 win in the final over Surrey’s Sammy Fuller (Roehampton) and said: “This means a lot.”
It’s a first individual national title for the Lindrick player and she adds it to the prestigious Bridget Jackson Bowl, which she won by five shots last Tuesday.
From there, it was straight into the match play championship and the 18-year-old carried her great form with her. She tied second in qualifying and steadily worked her way through the knockout stages.
Slater, a member of the England Golf national girls’ squad, defeated Lois Lau of France in the first round, before taking on her toughest match of the week, against the host club’s Jessica Bailey. “It was a very tight match,” said Slater, who won through on the last hole.
In this morning’s semi-final against Trentham’s Emily Brennan, Slater was down early on. She battled back to all square after 10, only to again drop two behind. But once more she fought back, helped by a birdie on the 15th, and closed out the game on the 17th.
In the final against Fuller, she set off at a blistering pace – to her own surprise. “I don’t usually get off to a good start in match play, I tend to be down to start with,” she said.
Not today. Slater was three-under par and six up after 12 holes, before withstanding a fightback from Fuller, who won three holes in a row. But Slater settled herself with a winning birdie on the 16th to claim her title.
Slater, who was in Yorkshire’s winning team at last year’s English Women’s County Finals, will now head to the English women’s amateur at Wilmslow, Cheshire, which starts on 17 July.