A more international and stronger field will tee up at Fulford this week for the second staging of the R&A Girls U16 Amateur Championship.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event at the renowned York venue, a starting field of 90 girl golfers, aged from 11 to 16 years old, will look to emulate the first champion, Scotland’s Hannah Darling.
An excellent entry of 125 golfers resulted in a handicap ballot cut off at 6.3— compared to 9.9 last year—with players from 12 countries, one more than in 2018. Competitors will come from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Boost girls’ game
The championship is a World Amateur Golf Ranking™ counting event for the first time, providing an extra incentive for the competitors.
The 54-hole stroke play event was introduced last year as part of The R&A’s drive to boost the girls’ game in Great Britain and Ireland and beyond, as well as provide a pathway to the elite amateur level for leading young players.
Twelve months ago, Darling holed a closing 40-foot birdie putt to seal a dramatic victory and become the inaugural recipient of The Angela Uzielli Trophy. Ireland’s Beth Coulter had looked set for a wire-to-wire victory, leading by a stroke with the par-5 18th to play, only to go out of bounds after her second shot hit a tree.
Coulter returns aiming to go one better this year, while Wales’ Ffion Tynan, a member of the Great Britain and Ireland team which played against the Continent of Europe in the Junior Vagliano Trophy in 2017, tees it up again. Italy’s Charlotte Cattaneo, runner-up in the Under-14 section last year, and reigning Under-12 section champion, Rosie Bee Kim from England, also compete. Fulford member Alexandra Bonfield will look to shine on home soil.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and Amateur Events at The R&A, said, “We look forward to this week’s Girls U16 Amateur Championship following the success of last year’s inaugural event.
“The championship was established to provide further opportunities for girl golfers, both nationally and internationally, with Fulford again set to offer a wonderful welcome to all competitors and provide an excellent test of golf.
“With the Vagliano Trophy and Junior Vagliano Trophy matches being played at Royal St George’s in June, there is also an opportunity for the competitors to play their way into contention for selection for Great Britain and Ireland and the Continent of Europe.”
Fulford, which last year hosted an event organised by The R&A for the first time in its history, enjoys a prestigious reputation as a championship venue, having staged the first ever Women’s British Open (then known as the Ladies’ British Open) in 1976, as well as European Tour events including the Benson & Hedges International Open.
Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Sam Torrance and Sandy Lyle are all past winners over the parkland layout. Fulford will also host the Girls Under 16 Amateur Championship for a third time in 2020.
View entries here.