R&A: Women’s Amateur quarter-final preview

England and Scotland heavyweights meet for place in last four

R&A: Thursday June 10th

A remarkable third round victory for Scotland’s Hannah Darling in the Women’s British Amateur tonight set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with England star Annabell Fuller.

The 17-year-old Broomknowie player was one down to England’s Hannah Screen (Berkhamsted) in their last 16 tie playing the last but came through with a birdie to take the match into extra holes.

ABOVE… Hannah Screen sinks a stunning 25-footer to stay in the match and (above) Hannah Darling holes out for birdie at the 18th

The Hertfordshire player then holed out from 25 feet at the second extra hole to stay alive but at the 23rd (the par three fourth) found trouble and her Scottish opponent was able to take two from 10 feet to reach the last eight.

Darling, such an impressive winner at the recent St Rule Trophy and also the inaugural R&A U-16s Championship, has lofty ambitions in the game but in Fuller faces a formidable opponent tomorrow at 9am.

The Surrey teenager is the country’s highest ranked player in the official World Amateur Rankings (No 42) and last year reached the British Amateur final having won the English Strokeplay Championship. Three years ago she played in the Curtis Cup aged just 15.

Fuller won both her matches today 3&2 and in difficult, windy conditions was just one over par for her 32 holes against Scotland’s Carmen Griffiths (Aboyne) and England’s Maggie Whitehead (Close House).

One player who surpassed Fuller’s scoring was Scotland’s Louise Duncan, who was one over par as she saw off England junior Lottie Woad (Farnham) 3&2 in the second round and a superb three under in recording the biggest win in the afternoon (6&4). Sara Byrne (Ireland) had her work cut out as the home favourite registered four birdies and just one bogey.

Scoring wise, Scotland’s Louise Duncan played the best stuff in rounds 2 and 3 at the Women’s Amateur

Louise, who will take on England’s Jessica Baker (Gosforth Park Ladies) for a place in the last four, said: “I thought the course was playing tougher today because of the wind. 

“So pars were a good score and anything that beats that deserved to win the hole. I think it’ll be a good challenge tomorrow and I am looking forward to it.”

The dream of 13-year-old Woburn starlet Roisin Scanlon was ended in the third round by impressive 16-year-old Gracie Mayo (Newport) but the Welsh player faces a tough task to progress further with Scotland’s 2018 Curtis Cup star Shannon McWilliams lying in wait tomorrow morning.

The 21-year-old Aboyne member reached the quarter-finals having seen off England’s Harriet Lynch (Thorndon Park), who was so impressive in her second round victory over Patience Rhodes (England).

For the Welsh teenager her wins today over Scanlon and England international Ellie Gower represented a dream come true.

“I am delighted to hold off two strong opponents today,” said Gracie last night. “I played solid and holed out in a few critical moments. I am feeling really strong and looking forward to going into the last eight tomorrow.”

Women’s Amateur quarter-finals 
• 8.15am: Shannon McWilliam (Scotland) v Gracie Mayo (Wales)
• 8.30am: Kate Lanigan (Ireland) v Johanna Lea Luoviksdottir (Iceland)
• 8.45am: Jessica Baker (England) v Louise Duncan (Scotland)
• 9.00am: Hannah Darling (Scotland) v Annabell Fuller (England)