Cheshire ace Wardle elevated to women’s squad

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BEL WARDLE: Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

PRESTBURY’S Bel Wardle, who last week won the Portuguese women’s amateur, is among 10 players in the England Golf women’s 2018 squad.  She is also the English women’s open and English girls’ champion, moves up from the girls’ squad, alongside three other players.

They are Lily May Humphreys, whose four wins in 2017 included the British girls’ title; Annabell Fuller who was runner-up to Wardle in Portugal; and her older sister and fellow international Sammy Fuller.

Sammy Fuller is one of five players who are US-based while they study at university in America. The others are Curtis Cup player Alice Hewson, Emma Allen, Louisa Brunt and India Clyburn.

The squad is completed by Georgia Price and Sophie Lamb, who was leading amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The England Golf girls’ squad includes five new players, who join established members Martha Lewis, Mimi Rhodes, Amelia Williamson and Hannah Screen, the runner-up in the British women’s stroke play. They are Yorkshire’s Charlotte Heath and Nicola Slater; Buckinghamshire’s Thalia Kirby, who was runner-up in the English U16 girls’ championship; Gloucestershire’s Ebonie Lewis and Cumbria’s Caitlin Whitehead.

Women’s squad

Emma Allen, 21, Meon Valley, Hampshire

Louisa Brunt, 19, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire

India Clyburn, 21, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Lily May Humphreys, 15, Stoke by Nayland, Essex

Annabell Fuller, 15, Roehampton, Surrey

Sammy Fuller, 18, Roehampton, Surrey

Alice Hewson, 20, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Georgia Price, 24, Bude & North Cornwall

Bel Wardle, 18, Prestbury, Cheshire

Girls:

Charlotte Heath, 16, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Thalia Kirby, 16, Harleyford, Buckinghamshire

Ebonie Lewis, 17, Knowle, Gloucestershire

Martha Lewis, 18, St George’s Hill, Surrey

Mimi Rhodes, 16, Burnham & Berrow, Somerset

Hannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Nicola Slater, 17, Woodsome Hall, Yorkshire

Caitlin Whitehead, 15, Kendal, Cumbria

Amelia Williamson, 17, Royal Cromer, Norfolk

 

 

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Shacklady plays his cards right – at last!

MOSSOCK Hall maestro David Shacklady is celebrating winning his card to compete on the Staysure Tour after a year after losing in a three-man play-off.

And this time he secured his playing rights with a par on the 18th hole for a one over par total at Portugal’s Pestana Golf Resort.

Meanwhile, Rafael Gomez became the first Argentinian since Horacio Carbonetti to clear the hurdle after signing for a five under par final round, minus seven all told.

Paul Streeter, John Kemp and David MacLaren all qualified. Kemp, a member of Woburn Golf Club, host venue of the Travis Perkins Masters, was bidding to become the first amateur golfer since Denis O’Sullivan in 1997 to win Qualifying School, but would settle for second place on three under par.

“It’s a bit of a shock,” said Kemp “I probably played my worst golf of the week out there today, but it was all about the result. I was watching the boards as I went around the course, so I knew what I needed to do out there.

“I was a little bit anxious but I managed to grind it out on the back nine. The guys I play with back home will say that I can get a score even if I’m not playing at my best.”

Shacklady in battle to win senior card

MOSSOCK Hall’s David Shacklady, who missed out on a card at last year’s PGA Senior Qualifying School after losing in the three-man play-off, shares fourth place going into the final round Final Stage at Pestana Golf Resort.

English amateur John Kemp leads the 32 finalists who will compete for five coveted cards for the 2018 Staysure Tour season.

The 50 year old carded his second consecutive round of 67 for a four under par total and a one stroke lead over compatriot Paul Streeter after three rounds

He started with a birdie on the first hole and then made two further gains before the turn. He then birdied the tenth and the 13th holes, before a double bogey on the par three 15th hole. He recovered with a birdie on the 16th hole and parred the last two holes for a four under par finish.

“I’m really pleased with how well I played today, apart from the double bogey that I had,” said Kemp. “We’re all experienced enough not to let those moments get you down.

“I might be ahead, but there isn’t really a cushion there. I’m going to go out there and win it. I’ll be pleased when this week is over, to be honest. I’ve never played this much golf in such a short period of time.”

If Kemp were to emerge victorious in the Algarve, he would become the first amateur golfer to win Qualifying School since it was first held at Pestana Golf Resort in 2001.

It’s a stroll in the park for Corrigan

CHILLI Dip Golf Academy coach Craig Corrigan racked up an impressive 40 points to win the first Manchester Alliance fixture at Boysnope Park.

And he also extended his lead over nearest rival Phil Archer in the professional order-of-merit, a shot ahead of his Birchwood rival, as Hazel Grove assistant Ben Thompson claimed third place with 36 points.

Corrigan teamed up with regular partner Phil Cooney from Dean Wood to top the pro-am to make it a double pay day.

Local knowledge paid off in the am-am as host club captain Adrian Hodges and his Davyhulme Park partner Andy Greig won on countback with 41 points.

Glory for Wardle in final round fight-back

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PRESTBURY ace Isobel Wardle staged a stunning final-round comeback to claim a dramatic play-off victory at the 2018 Portuguese Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at West Cliffs Golf Links.

The 18-year-old began the last day five strokes behind Annabell Fuller but coped best in the difficult, windy conditions, carding a five-over-par 77 to first catch her fellow England international, then beat her on the first hole of sudden death.

Named as the World’s Best New Golf Course at the 2017 World Golf Awards, West Cliffs has quickly established itself as one of the new stars of global golf since opening last summer, and provided a fitting venue for the 88th edition of the prestigious event – which featured competitors from 15 countries including China.

Wardle, who plays off a handicap of +4.2, opened the event with a level-par 72 – the joint-lowest round of the week in a tournament that was played in cold and windy conditions throughout – but Fuller looked to have victory in her sights as she started the fourth and final round with a three-shot advantage over the field.

The 15-year-old from Roehampton still held a two-stroke lead as she stood on the 18th tee, but she double-bogeyed the hole after tangling with a bush on her way to a disappointing 82, before being beaten by Wardle on the same hole in the play-off.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year after winning the English women’s and English girls’ ope

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n championships in 2017. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible. Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.

“I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off. But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

Shacklady leads the way in Portugal

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ACTION MAN: David Shacklady. Picture Getty Images

LANCASTRIAN David Shacklady took the 36-hole lead at Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage after firing a two under par second round of 69 to move to four under  at Pestana Golf Resort in Portugal.

The 50-year-old, making his second Qualifying School appearance, missed out on one of the five coveted cards in 2017 after a three-man play-off, but has returned to Portugal in a bid to secure playing rights on the Staysure Tour in 2018.

Shacklady started his round from the tenth hole, and made consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th holes, cancelling out an earlier bogey.

After starting the day two under par, he reached a total of five under after further gains on the second and third holes, but undid his hard work with a bogey and double bogey on the fourth and fifth holes.

Shacklady recovered strongly and birdied the final two holes for a four under par total, two strokes ahead of compatriot Paul Streeter and Argentina’s Mauricio Molina.

“I’m very pleased that I showed some bottle out there,” said Shacklady. “On the fifth hole I found the bottom ridge of the green, lipped out for two and then missed the next two putts. I had to have a word with myself after that and calm myself down.

“I said to my wife last night that everyone is going to have moments on this golf course, I just hope that was mine. It’s very easy to become negative. You have to commit to everything out there, but it’s easier said than done. It’s mentally gruelling. When it’s fiery, fast and windy out there, it’s no fun.

“I’m just pleased I didn’t lose it towards the end, it can drown you when you have moments like that. I refocused and started again. I’d have been pleased finishing level par today, but to come in with two birdies is great.

“It’s nice having the cushion at the top of the leaderboard, but I was in the same scenario last week at First Stage. I was coasting and only finished second. You have to play this like it’s a tournament and try to win it.”

Making up the top five are English amateur John Kemp and Gary Wolstenholme, a six-time Walker Cup player and two-time Staysure Tour winner, on level par.

Kemp, a member of Woburn Golf Club, host course of the Travis Perkins Masters, carded one of the lowest rounds of the day, a four under par 67.

“It is very hard to judge how you are as a player when you go up against the pros,” said Kemp. “At First Stage, I didn’t play very well on my first nine holes, but I played the next 27 in six under par – which was good golf for me.

“I now know I can compete at this level. I played well in patches and had a couple of breaks to get me back up the leaderboard. I played with a bit more freedom today, I did hit some bad shots in the middle of my round but I knuckled down in the end.”

Players within eight shots of fifth place will make it through to Thursday’s final round on the Vale da Pinta Course at Pestana Golf Resort, with the top five earning cards for the 2018 Staysure Tour season.

Leading scores: 

138 D Shacklady (Eng) 69 69, 140 P Streeter (Eng) 70 70, M Molina (Arg) 70 70, 142 G Wolstenholme (Eng) 72 70, J Kemp (am) (Eng) 75 67, 143 S Skinner (USA) 74 69, P Parker (USA) 74 69, J Buendia (Esp) 70 73, 144 M Hallberg (Swe) 67 77, P Wilson (Eng) 73 71, A Franco (Par) 75 69, M Booth (Eng) 68 76, 145 V Casado (Esp) 72 73, S McNally (Eng) 74 71, 146 M Wharton (Eng) 72 74, G Joyner (Aus) 74 72, J Quiros (Esp) 73 73, J Romero (Esp) 75 71, J Carriles (Esp) 75 71, D Wettlaufer (Can) 75 71, S Brown (Eng) 74 72, N Cheetham (Eng) 72 74, R Gomez (Arg) 80 66.

 

Bel of the ball! Portugal win for Prestbury ace

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PRESTBURY and England star Bel Wardle came from five shots off the lead to win the Portuguese women’s amateur championship in a play-off.

The 18-year-old international caught and then beat fellow England player Annabell Fuller on the first play-off hole – the 18th – on the difficult West Cliffs course.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year and adds this title to the English women’s and English girls’ open championships of 2017.

Fuller, 15, took a three shot lead into the final round and Wardle was five behind her – but knew anything could happen. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible,” said Wardle “Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.”

In the final round, in which strong winds added to the challenge of the course, Wardle posted five-over 77 and declared herself: “100 per cent happy. I was five-over through nine and heading in to the tougher nine, so I was so pleased to come back in level par.”

It put her in the play-off after Surrey’s Fuller tangled with a bush and double bogeyed the 18th in regulation play. “I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off,” said Wardle. “But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

This was Wardle’s first competitive event since the World girls’ championship last September – and she was ready for it. “I have done a lot of work over the winter with my coach, Richard Green at Bramhall Golf Club. My swing was feeling great coming into the week and I just wanted to get back competing again. I have done all the practice, I just wanted to get out there.”

The championship was a great showcase for England talent – with English players capturing not only the first two places, but also the Nations Cup by 10 shots. Annabell Fuller, Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland) combined to win the team prize. Lamb had her first hole in one during the championship and was eighth overall.