Sarah-Jane seals English title triumph with birdie

Sarah Jane Boyd - 2013 Women's Amateur Champion

Cornwall’s Sarah-Jane Boyd birdied the last hole to seal a two-shot victory in the English women’s amateur championship at Kings Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire.

She beat English stroke play champion Alex Peters, who made a spirited sub-par charge over the closing holes, while Gabriella Cowley took third place.

Sarah-Jane, (image © Leaderboard Photography) finished the 72-event on two over par and adds this success to the British stroke play title which she won last year. She said: “I feel so good, it’s so nice to win a second one because it proves the first wasn’t a fluke. It’s a stamp of authority.

“It’s really special to me to win the English, it’s a real privilege to win it and I’m over the moon.”

Sarah-Jane, 21, started the final round with a five-stroke lead, but she had to withstand the late charge of Alex Peters, who played the back nine in four-under par and, at one stage, reduced the deficit to just one.

Alex birdied both the 16th and 17th and her putt on 18 came within a whisker of dropping. But, in the group behind, Sarah-Jane was playing with great determination and holing demanding putts for par when it counted, notably on the short 14th and the tricky 16th where water is a daunting feature.

Her brother, Alex, caddied for her and helped to keep her focussed: “He kept saying ‘I know how determined you are, prove to me how much you want it.’

“I kind of knew I always had the upper hand. I was never behind and it was a matter of keeping it together and playing the percentages.”

She did exactly that on the par five 18th: “I thought I had a two-shot lead but then I discovered it was only one and that I had to make a par to win. I played it as a three-shot hole, hit my third from 130-yards to 7ft – and holed it! It was amazing.”

The final day was blessed with sunshine – in marked contrast to the earlier rounds – and produced a host of sub-par scores. In the morning’s third round four players returned one-under 71: Chelsea Masters of Sussex and England international Amber Ratcliffe went on to finish joint fourth, Jo Hodge of Gloucestershire added a second 71 in the afternoon and finished 7th, while Charlotte Thompson of Essex was eighth.

Alex Peters and Samantha Meese of Staffordshire also beat par with 71s in the afternoon.

Leading final scores
Par 72 CSS 76 77 76 76
290 Sarah Jane Boyd (Truro) 73 70 72 75
292 Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) 71 77 73    71
295 Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) 71 73 76 75
296 Samantha Meese (South Staffs) 75 76 74 71; Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) 75 77 71 73; Chelsea Masters (Highwoods, Bexhill) 75 76 71 74
297 Joanne Hodge (Kendleshire)    79 76 71 71
298 Charlotte Thompson (Channels) 79 76 71 72
300 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 77 73 77 73
302 Rachael Goodall (Heswall) 78 79 73 72, Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) 77 74 76 75, Emma Tayler (Saunton) 77 69 80 76