Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Flying Finn Ada’s eight-under 66 lights up

English Under-16 girls’ championship



Finland’s Ada Huhtala set the English girls’ U16 championship alight today when she shot a personal best of eight-under par 66 at Lyme Regis Golf Club in Dorset.
On a low-scoring day, she leads by two from another Finnish player, Kerttu Hiltunen, who is a regular in these championships and was sixth last year.
Rafiah Banday (Royal Mid Surrey) is the leading English player on three-under par 71, which is one of her best rounds in major competition. Daisy Kennedy (Stoke Park and Jess Baker (Gosforth Park Ladies’) are in a group sharing fourth place on two-under.
Huhtala (pictured) had seven birdies and an eagle in her round as she bettered her previous personal best by five shots. “I putted really great, that was the key to the good score,” said the 16-year-old.
The highlight was the par five 15th where her five iron from 190-yards finished 3ft from the hole to set up her eagle. “That was the best shot of the round,” said Huhtala, who started playing golf seriously four years ago.
Hiltunen, 15, has been practising very hard for the last few weeks and was delighted with the results. “My putting and short game is so good and I hit almost every fairway and then every green.”
Rafiah Banday, 14, has been gaining experience in international events this summer and it shows. She’s returning good scores and today’s three-under is one of her best in top competition.
Her best hole was her eagle on 15 where her six-iron shot finished 4ft away. Banday (Royal Mid Surrey) followed up with three solid pars, remarking: “I knew I was doing well so I was trying to par everything, I didn’t want to mess up!”
Jess Baker posted her 72 early on, with a card which included a lovely scoring spell from the fourth of four birdies in six holes. Daisy Kennedy came in late in the day, pleased with how she held her score together.
“I had a blip at the start of the back nine when the putts weren’t dropping and the wind got up and it got a bit harder. But I got it back and had two more birdies.”
In the English girls’ U14 championship, which is being played simultaneously, Austria’s Anna Neumayer leads on two-under 72, followed by England’s Rachel Gourlay (Arcot Hall, Northumberland) on 73.
Gourlay has been playing in the U14 championship since she was 10 and now, aged 14, she’s made her best start with her opening 73. “I like playing in the English girls, it feels good,” she said.
“The score is under my handicap, which is a good thing, and I played steady and never got angry or upset with myself,” she said. She proved that when she had a double bogey on the 6th and responded with birdies on 17 and 18 to repair the damage.
Maggie Whitehead (Close House) is tied seventh on plus one, a shot ahead of the defending champion, Italy’s Charlotte Cattaneo.
Meanwhile Ashleigh Critchley (Kettering) who won the Abraham Trophy yesterday as England’s most improved girl golfer, is in 12th place on three-over.

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Lyndsey Hewison
Press Officer
England Golf
07590 878349






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