England U16 squad player Megan Clarke has just beaten the professionals to win today's final event on the WPGA One Day Series.
The 15-year-old Yorkshire player shot level par 74 at Forest Pines in Lincolnshire to win the event by a stroke from Sian James and Keely Chiericato.
“I’m really happy,” said Megan, from Cleckheaton & District (Image © Leaderboard Photography). “I was a bit scared after the practice round because the course is tighter than I’m used to. I just wanted to play well – and winning was a bonus, I really enjoyed it.”
The WPGA opened up entry to this season’s One Day Series to U16 and U18 girls from England Golf’s regional squads to give them the chance to develop their skills in a tournament arena. The girls have responded in style: Megan is the second player to win, following Charlotte West from Harewood Downs in Buckinghamshire, who took top spot, on countback, at Chestfield in Kent.
Three other players have claimed runner-up places: Bel Wardle, 14, from Prestbury, set an amateur course record and was second in the first event at Dunham Forest, Cheshire. Cloe Frankish, 15, from Chart Hills in Kent, and Aimee Wilson, 18, from Mickleover in Derbyshire, were in a three-way tie for second place at Little Aston. Aimee continued her good form in this event when she was in a five-way tie for sixth place on four-over, while Bethany Acey (Lindrick) was one shot back in 11th place.
Megan, who trains with the Yorkshire U16 regional girls’ squad, has played in three WPGA events. “It’s been a really good experience to play with the professionals and on good courses,” she said.
The event took place in windy conditions and the course was playing long after yesterday’s rain. Megan was two-over par to the turn, but played the back nine in two-under, helped by three birdies.
“On the 10th it started raining really hard and I thought that might be a disaster, but I holed a 12-footer for a birdie four and that started a good back nine.”
She had two birdies in the last four holes, sandwiching her solitary bogey on the homeward half, on the 16th. Megan’s target as she turned for home was to play to her handicap of three – and she comfortably surpassed that.
Megan is part of the Yorkshire team which has won through to next month’s County Finals to defend the title of England’s champion county. She was also runner-up in the Yorkshire girls’ championship and winner of the second flight at the Northern ladies’ championship.
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