Friday, August 16, 2019

EUPHEMIE RHODES CLAIMS SEMI-FINAL
 
PLACE AT GIRLS’ AMATEUR CH/SHIP
 
Euphemie Rhodes, a member of Burnham and Berrow Golf

Club, Somerset, claimed a place in the semi-finals of the
centenary R and A Girls’ Amateur Championship at Panmure
with an excellent victory over Italy’s Alessia Nobilio today.
 
The 17-year-old English girl, pictured left, saw off the challenge of Nobilio, the highest-ranked player in the field at sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, with a high-quality performance.
Seven different nations were represented in the quarter-finals with players from England, Slovenia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Austria and two from Spain.
Rhodes, who finished fourth in the individual event in the European Girls’ Team Championship in Spain last month, raced out of the blocks, winning the first with a birdie three and took advantage of three consecutive bogeys from the 4th from Nobilio to move four up after six.
Nobilio, who was part of the winning Continent of Europe Vagliano Trophy team in June, rallied with a birdie to win the 10th but dropped a shot at the next to slip back to four down. Rhodes ran into trouble on the 12th and conceded the hole to move back to three ahead. The Burnham & Berrow player showed tremendous composure to almost hole her chip from a bank of thick rough to the right of the 15th green to secure a half and maintain her lead before securing a 3 and 2 victory at the next.
Rhodes will face Pia Babnik in the Saturday semi-finals after the 15-year-old Slovenian defeated Spain’s Carla Tejedo by 2 and 1. Tejedo won the first hole with a birdie but Babnik responded with a birdie of her own to win the second and was never behind from there. The Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Champion matched Tejedo’s birdie on the 16th to stay two up and sealed the match on the 17th with a half in par.
Norway’s Mia Sandtorv Lussand took her place in the semi-finals after edging out Spain’s Carolina Lopez-Chacarra by one hole. There was never more than one hole in it throughout the match with the Spanish player leading until the 15-year-old Lussand birdied the 11th to move to all square. She edged ahead for the first time on the 15th and held on to her slender lead from there to secure her place against Austria’s Isabella Holpfer tomorrow.
Holpfer, who was runner-up in last year’s championship at Ardglass, was in control for most of her match against Louise Rydqvist from Sweden, moving to two up after three holes. The 18-year-old Swede fought back to all square at the 8th but Holpfer bounced back and moved back into the lead at the next when her opponent bogeyed. Another bogey for Rydqvist at the 16th was enough for the girl from Vienna to clinch a 3 and2 win.
In the morning’s third round, Rhodes edged out Anna Foster from Elm Park on the 18th green when the Irish girl's four foot par putt lipped out. Nobilio trailed former champion and compatriot Emilie Paltrinieri by two holes after the 3rd but fought her way back into the match at the turn and eased to a 2 and 1 win.
Babnik was in control throughout her match against Kirsten Rudgeley from Australia and secured a 4 and 3 victory. Holpfer was never behind in her match with Denmark’s Natacha Høst Husted and won by a 2 and 1 margin while Sandtorv Lussand won by 3 and 2 against Germany’s Paula Schulz-Hanssen.
Key quotes:
 
Euphemie Rhodes
“I just kept thinking about making pars, because out here in the wind it is really tough, and staying calm. I was thinking about hitting the fairway, hitting the green and taking two putts. If I bogeyed I wasn’t worried, I was thinking maybe birdie or par the next hole. The way I was chipping also really helped me today.
“I have been through loads of stages like this where I haven’t kept calm and it’s been a bit stressful so I have learned from past experiences to just keep calm.
“This would be my biggest win so far so I can’t even put it into words. I’m so excited.”
Pia Babnik
“It was a tough match. I needed to focus throughout. She was hitting it close and playing well all the round so I had to stay patient because I knew I could play well. I’m really happy to be in the semi-finals. I am trying to play match by match, hole by hole and will try to win again tomorrow.”
Mia Sandtorv Lussand
“I hit a lot of fairways and that gave me a lot of opportunities to make birdies and my putting was also good. I put a lot of long putts close to the hole and holed a few so my game was actually quite good.
“I was just thinking ‘I’m doing my best and whatever happens, happens’ so that helped me calm down. I stayed focused on what I was doing and not what the other player was doing. I’m very excited to be in the semi-finals. I didn’t expect that to be honest when I came here a few days ago so I’m very happy.”
Isabella Holpfer
“It feels really good because last year I was in the same position and now I have another chance so I’m really excited. There is still a lot of golf to be played so I will just stick to my game plan and take it one shot at a time and see what happens.
“It’s been pretty tough but I do a lot of fitness at home so I guess I’m well prepared. I’m really happy with my putting and I just try to keep my long game in play. I haven’t made many mistakes. I have just tried to keep the ball on the fairway and hit it as close as possible to the pin. I’m focused on the semi-final now.”
The Girls’ Amateur Championship was first played in 1919 and celebrates its centenary this year. Four former Girls’ Amateur Champions were named in the European Solheim Cup team this week: Georgia Hall, Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Munoz.
The winner of this year’s championship will receive exemptions into Final Qualifying for the 2020 AIG Women's British Open, the Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
For the full results from today’s play visit www.randa.org/Championships. Follow The R&A on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on social media.
Admission and parking are free of charge for spectators visiting Panmure.
Ends.

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