Friday, September 02, 2016

Sophie Lamb wins stroke-play title by two 

shots from Chloe Williams in Belfast

        Sophie Lamb (left) and runner-up Chloe Williams (right) with their trophies.
                          Picture by courtesy of the Ladies Golf Union.

Sophie Lamb, an 18-year-old Lancashire lass and member of Clitheroe Golf Club, scored the biggest win of her fledgling career today.
Sophie is the 2016 British Women's Open Amateur Stroke-play Champion after coming to the front for the first time over the final round of the 72-hole tournament at Knock Golf Club, Belfast.
Sophie, who helped England win the Home Internationals title at Conwy, North Wales last month, has been knocking on the door of a big win as an individual and finally it opened for her.
Lamb shot rounds of 77, 68, 72 and 74 for a one-under-par total of 291.

Lamb had her dad, Phil, on the bag as her caddie this week and added: “I couldn’t have done it without him.”
But her mum, Carina, had to wait for the news that her daughter had won her first major championship – she was on a plane to Spain. “We’ll have to ring her when she lands!” added Lamb.
The teenager moved steadily through the field after a first round of four-over 77, which left her six shots off the pace. “I struggled a bit off the tee on the first day and you can’t do that on this course,” she said.
She came straight back with five-under 68 – six birdies and just one bogey – to put herself firmly in contention.
Runner-up was GB and I international Chloe Williams (Wrexham) with scores of 71, 77, 75 and 70 for one-over 293.
Alessia Nobilio, the 14-year-old Italian who had led the field through the second and third rounds, faded as the wind rose for the final round. She had scores of 73, 71, 71 and 70 for 294 and shared third place with Georgia Price (Bude and North Cornwall), 73, 72, 78 and 71.

But the Italian coach thought Alessia was more affected by the pressure of leading the tournament into the last round. At 14 years of age, she did not have the experience to cope with the situation.
Her day will come.
Sophie Lamb started the final day one shot behind the leader, Alessia Nobilio, after a second-round 68 which stood up as the lowest round of the tournament.
Nobilio's two-under-par 71 in the third round increased her lead to two shots with Lamb taking 72.
There was no hint at that stage that the Italian girl, so steady to that point, was about to unravel at the conditions became tougher.
But it soone became apparent that the youngster from Milan, winner of the Belgian girls' international stroke play championship after being a beaten semi-finalist in the Girls' British Championship at Harlech, had reached the end of her tether.
She took 40 shots to the turn in the final round and was overtaken by Lamb who was out in 37.
Sophie had a bad start to the inward half with a bogey at the 10th and a double bogey 6 at the 12th but she steadied up with three birdies over the closing holes - a 2 at the short 12th, a 4 at the par-5 14th and a 3 at the par-4 18th.
A bogey at the 15th made little difference in the final analysis.
Chloe Williams, who had shared the first-round lead with a 71, returned to her best form with a closing 70, the lowest score of the final round. The Welsh player birdied the second, third, sixth, seventh and 10th in halves of 34-36. Bogeys at the first and 18th she took in her stride.
Nobilio finished with a 79 (40-39), a gound which had no birdies, only six bogeys as she finished on two-over 294.
Young Georgia Price matched that with her best round of the four, a 71, despite a double bogey 6 at the second and another shot dropped at the fifth.
The Cornwall player slipped up a gear with birdies at the seventh, 10th, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th, offsetting a bogey at the 15th.
Price had six birdies over her last 12 holes. She had three double bogeys over the four rounds. Six shots dropped there cost her the championship. Even three bogeys instead of three doubles at these holes would have got her into a play-off with Sophie Lamb.  
English-born but Scotland-based Gemma Batty (Moffat) finished fifth on 296 with a pair of 74s on the final day. She had 2s at the 12th and 16th in her closing round, which cancelled out a double bogey 6 at the 13th.
The highest placed Irish player was Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) who finished sixth on 297 with a final round of 75 which had contrasted halves of 34 out and 41 in. After birdies at the fourth, fifth and eighth, she had bogeys at the 11th and 13th, a double bogey 5 at the short 16th and a bogey at the last.
There were two Italisn in the top seven finishers, Alessia Cristin Avanzo finishing seventh on 298.
The last Italian to win this championship was Anna Rossi in 2006. This was Italian players' best performance in the tournament since then.





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