ENGLAND’S Alice Hewson birdied her way to a superb six-under-par round of 66 to record a deserved two-shot victory in the Scottish Under-16 Strokeplay Championship at Strathmore.
She had eight birdies in her round and finished the 36-hole championship on five-under, two clear of Sophie Madden, the English U15 champion from West Essex, who had five birdies and an eagle en route to a second-round 68.
Alice, a past winner of the English U13 title, becomes the fourth successive England player to hold the title, following Cheshire’s Bronte Law, Lancashire’s Emily Taylor and last year’s winner, Gabriella Cowley of Essex.
Alice also helped England to win the team trophy, combining with Sophie Madden and Lancashire’s Eloise Healey to finish eight shots ahead of Ireland. The England 2 team of Emma Allen and Sophie Lamb were third, with all five England squad players finished in the top ten of the individual competition.
Healey, from West Lancashire, led at the halfway stage with a fine level-par score of 72 in cold and breezy conditions, one ahead of Hewson, Madden, and Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey.
The second day brought much better scoring conditions and Mehaffey was quick to take advantage, setting the early pace with a three-under 69 which made her leader in the clubhouse on two-under.
Soon, though, a battle royale was being played out between Alice and Sophie. Alice took the championship lead when she played the front nine in four-under par, but she dropped behind after a double bogey on the par four 11th, where she went out of bounds. It was the only hole where she dropped shots all day.
Sophie, meanwhile, playing in the group in front, birdied the tenth and eagled the 12th to share the lead and then picked up birdies on 14 and 15 to get to five-under par for the round.
Alice, in turn, responded admirably to the disappointment of the 11th with three birdies in a row from the 13th and was also five-under for the day as she approached the closing three holes.
The par-5 18th proved to be the decider. Sophie bogeyed the hole, while Alice knocked a rescue club on to the green and rolled her first putt stone dead for a birdie.
“I had a rough idea what Sophie was doing on the back nine, but I hadn’t got a clue what she had done on the way out,” said Alice. “I just went out there to make as many birdies as I could.”
England's sixth squad member, Victoria Mallett of Sutton Coldfield Ladies', had to unfortuantely pull out of the event after being laid low with chicken pox.