Sophia Fullbrook lifts the English Girls’ Open Amateur trophy
Fullbrook fires final round 62 to seal English Girls’ Amateur win
Sophia Fullbrook fired a spectacular final round of 62 to claim the English Girls’ Open Amateur Championship title at The Wilmslow Golf Club in Cheshire
Fullbrook, a member at The Melbourne Club in Hertfordshire, produced the round of her life when it mattered most to secure a miraculous comeback.
With 18 holes to go, Fullbrook trailed Ireland’s Rebekah Gardner by 10 shots. By the finish, Fullbrook produced a quite astonishing 10-under par round to not only claw back the deficit but also go on to win by two shots from the luckless Gardner with a 13-under-par score for 72 holes.
Ireland’s Gardner led the way at the half-way stage of the competition on six under, with Fullbrook just one shot behind. However, Gardner posted a superb third round 65 to move to 13 with 18 holes to go.
As the leading two players coming into the third and fourth rounds, both golfers were grouped together in the same two-ball and were the last off the tee. Fullbrook came out of the blocks quickly with a birdie on the first which set the tone for things to come. More birdies followed at the third, fourth and sixth holes, before a brilliant eagle on the seventh. She then rounded off the front nine with another birdie on the eighth to make the turn on seven under for the round, and 10 under for the tournament.
That ramped up the pressure on Ireland international Gardner, who had dropped two shots and drifted back to 11 under. At the end of the 12th hole, the tide turned completely as Fullbrook birdied and Gardner could only manage a par. From then on, it was advantage Fullbrook, who kept calm on a cool, drizzly day in Cheshire.
Coming down the 18th, Fullbrook was two shots clear and, after hitting the green with her third shot, the leader had the chance to land yet another birdie. However, she left her approach putt just short and tapped in for a par. Gardner could only match her rival’s score, leaving Fulbrook to claim a miraculous two-shot margin victory.
England Golf president-elect Chris Pascall presented Fullbrook with the trophy she had won herself 50 years ago in 1972.
Fullbrook, who fired rounds of 72, 67, 74 and 62 for a 13-under-par total of 275, was overjoyed to have claimed the title. She said: “It feels insane to be English Girls’ champion. After my third round, I knew I had to go low if I wanted to do it and luckily I managed to do just that The birdies just kept coming! The eagle on seven was when I knew that it could be a good round. It was a bit more stressful coming down the back nine, so I was trying to do my best to hold myself together.”
England girls’ squad player Olivia Lee (Gerards Cross GC) )took third after a final round 69 took her six under, while Imogen Williamson (Delamere Forest) finished fourth on three under and was awarded the Hazards Salver for the top performing under 16 in the field.