Opens: Formby Leveret

ANOTHER ONE FOR THE COLLECTION: Rache Gourley (left) is presented with the trophy by organiser Jan Keelan

Birdie-birdie finish secures another big title for Northumberland ace Rachel Gourley

OPENS: Sunday, April 3rd

FORMAT: 36-hole strokeplay

England Girls international Rachel Gourley maintained her superb start to the season as she won the Formby Leveret by one shot last night.

The Arcot Hall golfer added another major title to her already impressive portfolio in superb style. A second-round 66 (-5) saw her edge out the experienced Midlands-based Channel Islander Flora Keites (Royal Jersey) by one shot at the Merseyside venue.

Rachel won the Sunningdale Foursomes in partnership with Curtis Cup possible Lottie Woad last month and last weekend finished runner-up in the Comboy Scratch Open at Delamere Forest.

At Formby her challenge really took off once she got used to the greens in the middle of the morning round before. After lunch rshe really turned it on.

“The green were tough,” said the 17-year-old. “It took me nine holes to catch the speed of the greens but, once I’d done that, I holed quite a few putts.”


Rachel was first out alongside fellow Northumberland star Maggie Whitehead (Close House) and posted a one-over-par 72 to leave herself two back of halfway leader Ellise Rymer (Woodhall Spa).

However four birdies in her first eight holes in the afternoon set her up for a major challenge as her length off the tee came to the fore. Her drive at the par four seventh finished on the fringe and she got up and down for a three, before getting on in two at the par five eighth and capitalising by two-putting to go three under for the tournament.

A bogey followed at next but she started the back nine with another birdie at the 422-yard par five having just slid past the hole with her eagle putt.

She three-putted 14 to record her second bogey of the round but closed in brilliant fashion. Playing into the wind at the 322-yard 17th, she stuck an eight iron to 12 feet and drained it before also birdieing 18. It was playing down wind and Rachel took hybrid off the tee, flicked a wedge to eight feet and made no mistake with the putt. 

The Formby Leveret forms one half of the 72-hole Formby Comboy competition, which was won by Peel’s Ana Dawson. The Isle of Man star took it by one from Rachel having won at Delamere Forest by eight shots last week. Yesterday Ana came fifth on the back of rounds of 71 and 73.

Leading scores (par 71)
1) Rachel Gourley (Arcot Hall) 72, 66, 138 (-4)
2) Flora Keites (Royal Jersey) 71, 68, 139 (-3)
3) Sophia Fullbrook (The Melbourne Club) 72, 69, 141 (-1)
4) Nellie Ong (Eaton) 71, 73, 144 (+2)
5) Ana Dawson (Peel) 71, 73, 144 (+2)
6) Ellen Yates (West Hill) 74, 71, 145 (+3)
7) Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick) 72, 73, 145 (+3)
8) Katherine O’Connor (West Byfleet) 74, 73, 147 (+5)
9) Maggie Whitehead (Close House) 73, 74, 147 (+5)
10) Amelia Wan (Sherwood Forest) 71, 76, 147 (+5)
11) Emily James (Royal Lytham) 74, 74, 148 (+6)
12) Kasumi Tran (Tenby) 73, 75, 148 (+6)
13) Sadie Adams (Royal Birkdale) 73, 75, 148 (+6)
14) Ellise Rymer (Woodhall Spa) 70, 78, 148 (+6)
15) Beth Norton (The Oaks) 78, 71, 149 (+7)
16) Jess Haines (Burnham & Berrow) 76, 73, 149 (+7)
17) Amy Staveley (Ganton) 74, 75, 149 (+7)
18) Alexandra Bonfield (Fulford) 78, 75, 153 (+11)
19) Jorja Newbold (Oakmere Park Admirals) 74, 79, 153 (+11)
20) Lulu Leetham (Buckingham) 73, 80, 153 (+11)