Rose Ladies Series: Toy flies the flag at Royal St George’s

Emily Toy became the latest England women’s squad player to push the professionals all the way with another quality performance in the fourth event of the Rose Ladies Series at Royal St George’s.

The reigning British Women’s Amateur champ had leader and eventual winner Gemma Dryburgh firmly in her sights for most of her round and was in hot pursuit as she approached a tough closing stretch of holes.

Eventually, Toy signed for a two-over par round of 72 to finish in a tie for fourth and three shots behind Scots ace Dryburgh who followed up her win last week at Buckinghamshire Golf Club with another landmark success on the Kent coast.

Playing in the first ever professional ladies’ event at the Open Championship venue, Toy proudly blazed a trail on behalf of England Golf alongside fellow England internationals Charlotte Heath and Amelia Williamson.

For the fourth week in a row, an England Golf amateur player was able to claim a top ten finish in a field of mostly LET professionals. Lily May Humphreys, Annabell Fuller, Samantha Fuller and Mimi Rhodes had previously gatecrashed the professional party.

Toy proved last summer that she had the game for tough links conditions having claimed the British Amateur crown at Royal County Down.

On a course playing all of its 6,300 yard length with a very tough par of 70, Toy’s latest showing will give her great belief going into the rest of an abbreviated season of events.

Two consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh holes allowed the Cornish golfer to reach the turn in level par.

Four straight pars from the 10th kept Toy (pictured below) level with Georgia Hall and Charley Hull just a shot adrift of Dryburgh before the setback of a bogey six at the tough 14th.

A dropped shot on the testing 18th should not take away from Toy’s showing in another superb field.

Elsewhere, there were positives for the other England Golf participants.

Heath showed real nerve and ability to win the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship in January.

In very different, blustery conditions on the Kent coast, the Yorkshire golfer was out in the first group of the day and once again showed signs of her talents.

An eagle two at the 360-yard ninth hole helped the England women’s squad player reach the turn in one over par.

Another two, this time at the 175-yard par three, 11th hole, was another highlight of a day which saw the 18-year-old eventually sign for an eight over par round of 78.

Also joining her on that score was England overseas squad member Williamson (pictured above).

The 20-year-old from Norfolk was looking forward to testing herself on one of only four English courses currently on the Open rota.

For the University of Florida student, 11 pars and a birdie at the par 5, 15th hole will give her plenty to build on in the weeks ahead.

Full scores from the fourth event in the Rose Ladies Series can be found here.

The next tournament will be staged on Thursday 15 July at the JCB Golf and Country Club.