Saturday, June 30, 2018

Leonie Harm first German to win Ladies Amateur Championship


LGU and RandA LockupR and A NEWS RELEASE
+picture by courtesy of the R and A

Leonie Harm made golfing history at Hillside Golf Club, Southport, Lancashire today as she became the first German to lift the Ladies Amateur Championship trophy since the tournament was first played in 1893.
She defeated American     Stephanie Lau 3 and 2 to win the 18-hole final in hot and sunny conditions and book a spot in the starting field of the RICOH Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes in August.
As a result of her victory Leonie also gains exemptions into the 2018 Evian Championship, next year’s US Women’s Open, and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019.
The 20-year-old from Stuttgart, who is ranked 33rd in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM, arrived late at the championship and previously admitted she felt underprepared for the week. 
Those concerns were unfounded, however, as she defeated Canada’s Jaclyn Lee 4 and 3 in her morning semi-final to progress to the afternoon final. In the other semi-final, Lau saw off home favourite Holly Muse by 5 and 4 to secure her own place in the final.
Harm, who won the German International Amateur earlier this month, was never behind in the match as she kept her cool to play a steady round of golf, which gave her the edge on Lau. The German was handed the lead when her opponent bogeyed the third and her lead was extended at the 4th when Lau missed another putt for par.
Harm’s initial advantage was short-lived after Lau bounced back to produce back-to-back birdies at the 5th and 6th holes. Playing steady par golf, Harm regained her 2-hole lead at the halfway point with Lau chalking up further bogeys at the 7th and 9th. The 21-year-old found herself in the lead heading into the back nine without yet making a birdie.
That was to change as the clinical Harm went 3 up at the 10th. The pair both birdied the next as Lau struggled to find a weakness in the German’s game.
The trophy was in clear sight and, despite dropping a hole at the par-4 15th, the win was never in doubt as the 20-year-old University of Houston student rolled in a 5ft foot putt for par at the 16th to pounce on another Lau bogey and win the match 3 and 2.
The Pam Barton Memorial Salver is awarded to the winner of the Championship, while the runner-up receives The Diana Fishwick Cup. An international team award is presented after the stroke play qualifying rounds, which was also won by Germany with an aggregate score of 290.



The 116th Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship will be played at Royal County Down from 11-15 June 2019.
Key Quotes:
Leonie Harm, Germany
I’m thrilled to be the champion of course, everyone loves to win.
“I love when I can rely on my game, when my strengths are actually my strengths and I’ve hit my iron shots close all week. So, I’m content with myself.
 (On playing in the RICOH Women’s British Open)
“It’s a cool opportunity, I’m really excited. I’ll see if I can arrange it with my coach because I have something else scheduled but obviously the RICOH is the priority for me.
“I had all my team mates supporting me the round before as well so I’m really happy to have them around for me.”
Stephanie Lau, America
“I’m actually really proud of myself so it’s okay, particularly the fact that I rolled in some good birdie putts to fight back.
“Leonie played solidly, and she didn’t really give me much of an opening. The fact that I could just stick in there and get to the 16th was good. I’m proud of myself and I’ve taken a lot from this experience so I’m happy.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing links golf, I know this isn’t normal weather for England but it was just great for me."











weather for England, but I’ve loved it and learned a lot

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