The Women's Amateur

The Women’s Amateur Championship – Where are they now?

The R&A
13 Jun 24
3 mins

The Women’s Amateur Championship returns to Portmarnock for the first time in 93 years, with a host of richly talented players aiming to follow in the footsteps of last year’s victor, Chiara Horder, who was victorious at Prince’s.

So many of the previous winners of the Championship have gone on achieve huge success in the game. We take a look at some of the most noteworthy recent Women’s Amateur Champions.

Leona Maguire – 2017

Maguire became the first Irishwoman to capture the title in 32 years, defeating Spain’s Ainhoa Olaara 3&2 in the Final at Pyle and Kenfig to seal a landmark victory. Maguire has since gone from strength to strength, putting in superb performances at each of the last two Solheim Cups as well as claiming victories on the LPGA Tour in 2022 and 2023. Having previously won the Smyth Salver for low amateur at the AIG Women’s Open in 2016, she achieved her best major finish to date at the Championship at Muirfield in 2022, finishing tied-fourth courtesy of a final round 66.

Céline Boutier – 2015

French women have enjoyed considerable success across the history of the Championship dating back to Simone de la Chaume’s victory in 1927. Boutier became the latest French winner, and first this century, in 2015, heralding the start of what promises to be a long and prosperous career. Since defeating Linnea Ström 4&3 at Portstewart, Boutier has cemented her status as one of golf’s rising stars, capturing six LPGA Tour victories, with four of those coming in 2023, including her first major title, the Evian Championship.

Georgia Hall – 2013

The Englishwoman claimed her first major title at the AIG Women’s Open in 2018, but the seeds for success were sown five years earlier in The Women’s Amateur. A former R&A Girls’ Amateur Champion, Hall claimed a tense one-hole victory over Spain’s Luna Sobrón at Machynys Peninsula and turned professional a year later. Her AIG Women’s Open victory at Royal Lytham & St Annes is one of three top-three finishes she has recorded in the Championship. Hall has also claimed additional wins on the LPGA Tour and Ladies’ European Tours since her major breakthrough, as well as representing Europe in four successive Solheim Cups.

Anna Nordqvist – 2008

It was a case of third time lucky in 2008 for Nordqvist, who finally took the crown after finishing as the runner-up in back-to-back Women’s Amateurs. Nordqvist beat compatriot Caroline Hedwall 3&2 at North Berwick amid a period of Swedish supremacy, with Louise Stahle having claimed successive victories in 2004 and 2005. Nordqvist is arguably the most successful former winner of The Women’s Amateur Championship, with three major titles to her name. The Women’s PGA Championship came first in 2009 on the week of Nordqvist’s 22nd birthday, before an Evian Championship title in 2017 and an AIG Women’s Open triumph at Carnoustie in 2021. 

Catriona Matthew – 1993

Few names are more synonymous with women’s golf in the UK than The Women’s Amateur Champion in 1993, Catriona Matthew. Sixteen years passed before Matthew’s first major, but it was certainly worth the wait. She made history as the first Scottish woman to claim a major championship when roaring to victory at Royal Lytham & St Annes. What made her 2009 triumph even more impressive was that it arrived just 11 weeks after she gave birth to her daughter, Sophie. Her outstanding performance and wider services to golf earned her an MBE in 2010, followed by an OBE in 2020. More recently, Matthew took on the role of captain for consecutive European Solheim Cup teams, leading them to victory in 2019 and 2021, and will skipper the GB&I Curtis Cup side at Sunningdale at the end of August this year.

Jody Anschutz – 1984

Anschutz went on to have a strong professional career, but she was a surprise winner of The Women’s Amateur Championship. Just a few days prior to her success she made a vital contribution as the United States of America claimed a one-point victory in the Curtis Cup at Muirfield. She carried that form to Royal Troon, undismayed by a score of 90 in torrid conditions in the qualifying round, defeating Julie Brown 4&3 in the Final. Anschutz won the du Maurier Classic, then one of the LPGA's major championships, in 1987, and finished in the top ten in the other three majors.Nowadays she enjoys spending time with her family, mountain biking and fly-fishing and since 2015 she has worked as a realtor at home in Arizona.

Belle Robertson – 1981

Few know the true meaning of persistence like Belle Robertson. The Scot previously lost out in two Finals and three semi-finals before a nerve-shredding victory at Conwy Golf. Some eight years after her last appearance in the final four and when her chances of glory looked to be fading, Robertson topped qualifying and went on to beat compatriot Wilma Aitken in the final at the second extra hole. At the age of 45, Robertson became the oldest Women’s Amateur Champion in history. She was awarded an MBE for her services to golf and in 2015 she was one of the first female members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Notable others…

Looking further back, England’s Lady Margaret Scott won the Championship three years running following its inception in 1893. Only two women have won The Women’s Amateur more than Scott: Cecil Leitch and Joyce Wethered – the latter is still regarded as the leading British player of the inter-war period.  There have been 11 players to win both The Women’s Amateur Championship and the US Women’s Amateur Championship, four of whom claimed both honours in the same year, the latest being Kelli Kuehne in 1996.