Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Hirst wins English Women’s Open Stroke Play at Stoneham – Golf News

By admin Jun22,2024

Huddersfield’s Lily Hirst won the English Women’s Open Stroke Play after a final round 70 saw her seal a four-shot victory at Stoneham Golf Club in Hampshire.

After opening rounds of 71 and 75 on Stoneham’s par-74 course, Hirst fired a steady 74 in the morning, and then caught fire in the afternoon’s final round, with the 21-year-old landing a crucial eagle-two on the driveable 7th hole, along with three other birdies to shoot a closing four-under 70 and secure a comfortable victory ahead of nearest competitor Darcey Harry from Royal Porthcawl in Wales, who were the only two players to finish under par for the tournament.

Hirst said: “I’m speechless. I feel like I’ve been dreaming of winning a tournament like this after I won the Champion of Champions a few years ago. I shot level-par in the morning and I was only one back heading into the final 18, so I thought I should attack everything and hole a few more putts as I left a few short in the morning. I knew I needed to shoot low.

“The 7th is obviously driveable, and I hit a 5-wood and it bounced perfectly onto the green. I had a six-foot putt downhill, I got over it and as soon as I looked at the hole, I knew I was going to hole it. As soon as I did hole it, I knew it was going to be a good day.”

Nearest challenger Harry meant business on the morning of the final day with three birdies on the opening three holes, while her fellow countrywoman Millie Cottrell enjoyed another eagle on the 4th after her amazing three eagles – including a hole-in-one – in nine holes on day two. But while Cottrell couldn’t quite reproduce the form she showed on Wednesday, Harry found herself leading heading into the afternoon’s final round.

Burnham & Berrow’s Davina Xanh turned up the heat on a sunny day at Stoneham as she was three-under in her third round, and back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 in the final round, including driving the green on the latter, saw her come within two of the lead. However, her challenge slipped away after she got into trouble on 16, leaving her to finish on level-par overall in third place. Austria’s Johanna Ebner was also competing at the top throughout and despite three birdies on the front nine in the final round, she dropped shots after the turn to also finish tied 4th.

While the competition threatened to have a tense finish, ultimately Hirst showed her mettle to stay well in front and see out a fine victory.

For all the scores from the 2024 English Women’s Open Stroke Play, click here.

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