Lily May Humphreys skilfully avoided the water with her opening drive and was then able to make a big splash of her own during a memorable round with Bronte Law at the latest Rose Ladies Series event.
England women’s international Humphreys played superbly to finish in a tie for fourth place at the third of the Rose Ladies Series events at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on Thursday.
In the same playing group as Solheim Cup star Law, the Essex amateur shot a terrific one-under par round of 71.
Now Humphreys has admitted the chance to witness at close hand the methods and mentality of the LET player has given her fresh insight into what it will take to make the next step in her own career.
At one stage on her back nine, the 18-year-old got it to two under par and held a one-shot lead over the field only for Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh to come from the pack and claim victory.
There may have been a slight disappointment at not managing to eke out a few more birdies and push for a win, but Humphreys was able to take plenty positives from the day.
And even though she outscored Law on the day by six shots, the England Golf Order of Merit winner from 2019 believes she has learned plenty from watching one of her heroes up close in competitive action for 18 holes.
“I was a bit nervous on the first tee,” confessed Humphreys.
“I didn’t know where the ball was going to go and just thought to myself ‘Don’t put it in the water’ – especially playing with Bronte!
“My drive was fine – and although I got a bit of a dodgy par on the first hole, which is a straightforward par five, I was able to calm my nerves.
“It was a great experience to play with Bronte (pictured below). She put me at ease and chatted a little bit about her plans for the season.
“It was great for me to see her play and even if she didn’t score as well as she’d have wanted, I could see how tough her mentality is.
“I could clearly see that she was still trying on every single shot and determined – even if it wasn’t going to be her day – to shoot the best score she could.
“I could see how she reacted to certain situations and it made me think about aspects of the game differently.
“I don’t get the opportunity to see much of the girls playing on TV so to be invited to the Rose Series and to get this chance to play with Bronte was amazing.
“I was very pleased with how I played and while I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get one or two more birdies and at least make a play-off it doesn’t take away from the day.”
Humphreys rhymed off eight straight pars before sinking a 12-foot putt on the ninth for birdie.
A bogey at 10 was wiped out by another birdie at 11 and after sinking another putt on 16 she sat at two under par and led the field by one (see below).
“I could see a leaderboard as I made my way down 15 and saw red figures at the top so I knew I needed to go under par,” added the golfer from Stoke by Nayland.
“Then after the 16th the scorer with my group asked me if I wanted to know what was happening and told me: “you’re leading!”
“I wanted to finish with two fours, but the 17th is a hard hole, uphill and into the wind and I never really gave myself a chance to make anything other than a bogey.
“I couldn’t birdie 18 and looking back I missed a few putts.
“I three-putted the fifth for a par and then missed from six foot at the seventh. Overall, though, I can’t be too disappointed.”
Humphreys had planned on having a crack at the 2020 tour schools in autumn, but with these being cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, she will now focus her attention on more amateur events.
“It’s unfortunate, but everyone’s in the same position,” added Humphreys.
“I can now look forward to playing in the English Women’s Amateur at the end of the month at Woodhall Spa and try to build on this.
“I didn’t know how I would play after so long away from competitive golf. I played the Sunningdale Foursomes in March and that seems a long time ago now.
“Over the last few weeks my game has been getting steadily better and better and this has given me more confidence.”
Next week (9 July) the Rose Ladies Series rolls on to Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent – the venue for the 2021 Open Championship.
Once again, some of England’s top amateur women will tee it up alongside the game’s best professionals in an event covered by Sky Sports Golf.
ICYMI: Thank you to the team at Sky Sports Golf for their coverage of the event.