LUDLOW’S Emily Price celebrated the biggest win of her career after coming from behind to defeat Lily May Humphreys in the English Women’s Amateur Championship final.
Price claimed a 4&3 victory over the England international in a thrilling 36-hole final, at Woodhall Spa Golf Club, in Lincolnshire.
The Shropshire star also became just the seventh player to win both the English Women’s Amateur and Strokeplay title in their career.
That matches the likes of LET stars Trish Johnson and Rebecca Hudson, as well as Scottish-based pro Julie Otto.
She won three national championships as Julie Hall (nee Wade), to go with her two strokeplay victories between 1987 and 1995.
However, the 2020 final score did not tell the full story of a game that ebbed and flowed. And one that perhaps turned with one putt on the 18th hole of the morning round.
After being two-down to 18-year-old Humphreys for most of the back nine, Price clawed a hole back at the 16th.
But she found trouble off the tee at the par five, 18th hole.
However, a smart bunker shot followed by a brilliant wedge and a 15-foot birdie putt saw her head into lunch all-square and with a spring in her step.
A par-birdie start after lunch edged Price into a lead that she never surrendered. Victory was sealed on the 33rd hole on the Hotchkin Course.
However, the Essex golfer – who won the Sunningdale Foursomes before the COVID-19 lockdown came in March – can be proud of her efforts at the home of England Golf.
The glory, though, belonged to Price who cradled the trophy – first played for in 1914 – as she described the best win of her career.
‘Birdie at the 18th hole was pivotal’
WHEN asked if her birdie on 18 in the morning was significant, the new champion admitted: “Yes – 100 per cent.
“To come in not one-down and to hole a decent length birdie gave me momentum and positive energy,” said Price.
“Lily came out and was playing unbelievable. I was two-down and scraped it back on 18 to get all-square.
“Then I started hot in the afternoon and kept the momentum going.
“The aim was fairways, greens and two putts for pars. I finished three-under which was ok.”
Price underlined her star potential as a 16-year-old by winning the English Women’s Strokeplay Championship in 2016.
Now the sky’s the limit for Price as she prepares to return to Ohio’s Kent State University, in America, for the final two years of her golf scholarship.
After being introduced as the 2020 English Women’s Amateur champion, she said with a smile: “It sounds amazing and feels even better.
“To come and take the win after a very long week is unbelievable. And to perform the way I have is the best feeling you can ever get as a player,” she said.
“It’s been a few years since I won – a distant memory. But it feels good to be holding this and having won an event of this calibre, now I’m 20 years old.
“It will really help boost me and get me going for the rest of the season.”
Great to be back playing golf says new champ
AT the start of the week 66 of the top women amateurs in the country teed it up for two rounds of strokeplay. The top 16 made it through to the knockout stages.
In a safe and secure environment – and with the men’s amateur championship running alongside the women’s for the first time in England Golf’s history – players were able to concentrate on their game.
Price spoke on behalf of the golfers when she said: “It’s been great to get back out there – all of us haven’t played in so long.
“The event has been set up great by England Golf and Woodhall Spa Golf Club and the players have appreciated it – as well as managing boys and girls at the same event.
“It’s been great to have the boys here too and see so many competing.”
•For the full results from Woodhall Spa, click here.
Davis was last player to complete English double
THE other players to complete the English Women’s Amateur and Strokeplay double are Dorset’s Hayley Davis, Yorkshire’s Emma Duggleby, and Lancashire’s Fiona Brown.
Davis, from Ferndown, claimed the English Women’s at nearby Broadstone in 2010 – four years before winning the Strokeplay crown at Tandridge, in Surrey. She is now an LET Access Tour player.
Hudson and Duggleby were Yorkshire and England team-mates and dominated the women’s amateur ranks in the late 1990s and early 21st century.
Hudson’s English Women’s win came at West Sussex in 2001, a year after her strokeplay success at Silloth-on-Solway.
Duggleby won the Strokeplay at Broadstone in 1998. The biggest win of her career came two years later at Hunstanton. It also denied Hudson any chance of the double in the same year.
Johnson, who played for Middlesex before turning pro, is the only player to have won both titles in the same year.
Suffolk’s Julie Wade, a member at Felixstowe Ferry, won the English Strokeplay in 1987 at Northumberland GC. She claimed her first national crown at Little Aston a year later.
Her second Strokeplay came in 1993 at Kings Norton, in Coventry, after her first marriage. Hall then won the English Amateur back to back in 1994 and ‘95, at The Berkshire and Ipswich GC respectively.
Only four women have won the English Championship back to back – the last was Bronte Law in 2014 and 2015.