Brilliant Bronte is English champion

TEENAGE international Bronte Law is the new English women’s amateur champion, winning the trophy today at St Enodoc in Cornwall with a display of brilliance and tenacity.

BRONTE LAW Phone Leaderboard

BRONTE LAW Image: Leaderboard Photography

First she surged into the lead with a superb two-under par 69 in the third round, which included five birdies in the last six holes. Then, she held on tight to her advantage, negotiating her way round the challenging course on a tough afternoon to secure a three-shot victory.

Immediately after she sealed the win with a par on the last, her 10-year-old sister, Bella, ran on to the green to be first to congratulate her. “She’s always the first!” laughed Bronte, from Bramhall.

She finished the championship on seven-over par, three clear of runner-up Inci Mehmet of Wentworth. Defending champion Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) and Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) were three further shots back, one ahead of Bethan Popel (Long Ashton).

Just behind her was a group which included former champion Hayley Davis (Ferndown), who shot one-under 71 in the final round – and was the only other player to break par during the championship.

Bronte, 19, has played in two Curtis Cup teams, is an England international and has won on the US women’s college circuit – but this victory is special.

“I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on an England trophy so for me this is huge.

“I’ve been well playing since I came back from college, at the Curtis Cup and at the Europeans (ladies’ team championship), and I felt something was close.

“This week I couldn’t have prepared any better and I have played really solid and it’s really nice to have all my family here. That’s rare!”

Bronte is a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, and she added: “It means all the hard work is worth it. Going to America to advance my game and being away from my family isn’t easy but you have to make these sacrifices to get better – and it’s really nice to get something back to keep pushing me on.”

Bronte was right in the mix throughout the championship, on a tough course which thoroughly tested the players. Her third round set up her win, but she had to hold on tight during a testing afternoon, played under a hot sun and in a steadily increasing wind.

The 16th was a great example of her staying power. She tangled with the punishing rough and was still short of the par five green after three shots, but she played a lovely pitch over a bunker to within 4ft of the hole and sank the putt for par.

“There weren’t many birdies out there this afternoon but I didn’t really do anything wrong and I tried to play really steadily on the back nine because those holes were really tricky.”

The final round was watched by a crowd of spectators, who found many vantage points on the course, not least the towering mound on the 6th, known as the Himalayas.

They watched not only Bronte’s path to victory, but also the battle for second place. Inci Mehmet, Alex Peters, Bethan Popel and Sarah-Jane Boyd were all involved in the tussle, with the advantage swinging to and fro. But Inci’s steady play on the back nine, where she dropped just one shot, saw her into the runner-up place.

Click here for full scores

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