Top seed Sammie Giles won the all-Cornwall battle to become the new English women’s open mid-amateur champion at Bath Golf Club.
She beat her county colleague Sarah-Jane Boyd by 3/2 in the final to take the title and said afterwards: “It feels good, really good.
“I have always lost to Sarah-Jane in the past so I was just trying to pretend that it wasn’t her, that it was someone else! She’s a great player and I couldn’t take anything for granted,” said Sammie (image © Leaderboard Photography)
The two players are friends, but that didn’t affect the match: “We both get on really well and it will definitely be just the same off the course,” said Sammie. “But on the course you have to be different, you have to forget who you are playing and just concentrate on what you have to do.”
The 19-year-old from St Mellion reached the semi-final of this event last year and came back determined to do better. She’s played great golf all week and was on top form throughout the final, notching up four birdies and playing the 16 holes of the match in two-under par.
The players halved the first four holes, but Sammie made her move with back to back birdies on the 5th and 6th and, after a third birdie on the 10th, she was three up.
She got to four up after 11 holes holing the putt to complete an impressive up and down for par.
But then she faltered slightly, losing the 12th, where Sarah-Jane had a great up and down from a greenside bunker; and the 13th, where her opponent against demonstrated her impressive short game to save par.
“I got a bit ahead of myself when I went four up,” admitted Sammie. “You can see the finish line and I was thinking about stuff you shouldn’t. You need to snap back into it – and I did.”
She stopped the slide with a solid par which won the short 14th. On the 15th she holed a 20-footer for a birdie four and appeared to have her hand on the trophy – but Sarah-Jane wasn’t finished. She rammed home her birdie putt and the players continued to the 16th.
Both missed the green, but both got up and down for par and this time the trophy was definitely in Sammie’s hands.
The strength of Sammie’s game this week was her putting: “I putted well all week and didn’t really miss anything from inside 6ft, it was really solid,” she said. `
Sarah-Jane, who is the reigning English amateur champion and a past British stroke play champion, was disappointed but, she said, determined to learn from the experience. “It just wasn’t my day, I only had one birdie and that just doesn’t cut it,” she remarked.
In just over a week’s time both players will be teeing up again in a national event, when the English women’s amateur championship is played in their home county at St Enodoc. It starts on Tuesday, July 15, when Sarah-Jane starts the defence of her title.