Top USA titles for England students

Meghan MacLaren

England’s Meghan MacLaren and Lauren Taylor have both just won major titles on the US women’s college circuit.

Meghan, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, notched up her third win in her first year at university when she became the Sun Belt conference champion. She was four under par for the 54-hole event and won by two shots. (Image © Leaderboard Photography).

Lauren, from Woburn, scored her first US win with victory in the Big 12 women’s conference championship. She was three-under par and became only the second freshman to win the title.

Meghan MacLaren, 18, is a student at Florida International University (FIU) and her result also led her college to victory in their team event – and a place in the regional finals of the national NCAA championship.

During the event, at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, she led from start to finish and also recorded the low score of the championship with a second-round of four-under 68. Among the other high finishers were fourth-placed Sophie Godley (Lindrick/FIU), while sixth place was shared by Alison Knowles (Hickleton/Louisiana-Monroe) and Abigail Laker (Frilford Heath/Arkansas State).

Before starting university Meghan was in England’s winning team at the girls’ Home Internationals, she won the French U18 open title and was runner up in the English girls’ championship.

Lauren Taylor, 18, dominated the Big 12 tournament at The Harvester in Rhodes, Iowa, finishing eight shots clear of the field and shooting the low score in each round: 74-68-71. She said afterwards: “I played very well this week, everything just came together at the right time. I just stayed patient in the tough conditions as I knew it was going to be difficult for everyone and I came out on top.”

She is a student at Baylor University, Texas, and her play helped her college into second place in the team event – and kept their national championship ambitions on track.

Lauren is an England international who hit the headlines at the age of 16 when she became the youngest-ever British women’s champion.

Her Baylor team-mates include Hayley Davis of Ferndown, Dorset, and Emma Carberry of Highwoods, Sussex. Hayley, a past winner of the English women’s and girls’ titles, was fourth, adding to a string of high finishes and one US college win, earlier this year. Emma, the reigning English mid-amateur champion, tied for 25th place.

In other results, the University of North Carolina has to wait to see if its team can progress in the NCAA championship after they finished fifth in their ACC conference championship. Players include Elizabeth Mallett, a past winner of the English girls’ championship, from Sutton Coldfield Ladies’ in Warwickshire. Her first year results have included a third place in the UCF Challenge at Red Tail in Sorrento, Florida, where she was two-under par and just two behind the winner.

Among the other recent success stories from the USA are wins by Alison Knowles and Steph Peareth. Alison (Hickleton/Louisiana-Monroe) is a freshman and scored her first win at Samford University Women's Intercollegiate tournament at Hoover Country Club, Alabama, where she was three clear of the field. Steph (Oakleaf/Concord), a third-year student, had her second US win when she topped the leaderboard at the NC4K Collegiate Classic at Cumberland Trail Golf Club, Pataskala, Ohio.