Emily Toy blew out the candles on her 22nd birthday cake during a recent gathering of the England Women’s squad at Woodhall Spa.
It’s fair to say that – birthday cake apart – there hasn’t been much huffing and puffing required for Toy in 2019.
The year has been a roaring success for the Cornish golfer who claimed her biggest title to date with a sparkling performance to win the Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal County Down in June.
Toy was also a key member of the England Women’s squad which defeated Spain and then retained the Home International crown with a nail-biting victory in the series played at Downfield GC near Dundee.
There was also academic as well as sporting achievement when Toy graduated with a degree in Sport and Health Science.
Now one of the rising stars of women’s amateur golf is planning ahead for 2020 with several new and exciting adventures on the horizon.
As well as continuing to represent England with distinction on the international stage, Toy has a busy individual schedule to plan for as she looks to take her game to the next level.
Thanks to her success at Royal County Down, there’s a place reserved for her at the US Women’s Open at the Champions Club in Houston in June.
There’s also the prospect of battling to earn her place on the Great Britain and Ireland squad for the Curtis Cup being staged at Conwy GC in Wales later that same month.
Both events have Toy licking her lips in anticipation – and before that is the small matter of a visit to Augusta.
Part of the reward for her victory over New Zealand’s Amelia Garvey at the Women’s Amateur was an invite to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in April 2020.
Only 54 of the world’s leading women amateurs will take part in the event – with the final round of the event staged on the hallowed turf of Augusta National where the Masters will be held later the same month.
Before Toy gets to wander down Magnolia Lane and follow in the spike marks of the game’s legends, there is a winter of hard work to come.
After teaming up with her England colleagues during a recent squad session at the National Performance Centre, Toy is homing in on an exciting 2020.
“It was great to be back with England again,” said the 22 year-old pictured above with team-mate Bel Wardle during the victory over Spain earlier this year.
“I live in the middle of nowhere so can feel a little bit isolated at times. It’s not as if I can arrange to meet up with friends for a day’s practice somewhere because I’m miles from anyone else!
“Meeting up with my England team-mates is always great fun but also brings an extra focus to practice sessions.
“I celebrated my birthday with them as well which was fun as by the time I drove back to Cornwall to see my actual family my birthday was over!
“There’s so much to look forward to next year and I will start to piece together my schedule in the coming weeks.
“For now, I’m concentrating on my practice routine. Coming up to Woodhall Spa to be with the other girls and coach Steve Robinson was great.
“I’ve been working on my short game, also on keeping my head still as I’m prone to move it about too much and I guess I’ll be forever working on putting.
“I’m not a bad putter just a streaky one.
“I’ve dusted down an old Scotty Cameron putter that I used to play with and replaced the Ping one I’ve had recently.
“That’s a switch from a mallet to a blade and we’ll see how it goes.
“Every golfer is the same if you aren’t happy with putting. I tend to scare my putters by putting them away for a bit in the hope that when they come back out the cupboard they’ve learned to behave!”
Toy’s season of success was recently recognised by her home club when she was given honorary life membership.
For the past nine years she has played out of Carlyon Bay in St Austell and the club – quite rightly – is immensely proud of her achievements.
“It’s been a busy few weeks,” admitted Toy whose grandad first introduced her to the game as a youngster.
“The England squad has started back with coaching sessions and then the club held a night for me last week where I was surprised to receive an honorary membership.
“It was a lovely touch from a club I really enjoy representing.
“There’s a lot to look forward to in the next year, but I’m not setting any goals. I’ll just work hard and see where it takes me.”
Image credit: Leaderboard