The Women's Amateur

History Beckons for Hannah Darling at Hunstanton

Hannah Darling stayed on course to achieve an historic treble after progressing to the quarter-finals of the 119th Women’s Amateur Championship at Hunstanton.

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The R&A
23 Jun 22
3 mins

The Scot, 18, is bidding to become the first player to win the R&A Girls’ U16, Girls’ Amateur and Women’s Amateur titles and booked her spot in the last eight after defeating Celina Sattelkau 3&1.

Darling, who recently represented Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup at Merion, had earlier beaten another German, Viktoria Maria Hund, in the last-32 by 4&3. Darling won last year’s Girls’ Amateur at Fulford, the same venue for her U16 success in 2018. She now meets Alessandra Fanali from Italy in the quarter-finals, who was a 2&1 winner over Isabella Fierro.

Darling delight

The Broomieknowe member said, “It's always nice when you advance and you get a step closer. But there’s a lot of work left to do and I’m excited with what's to come. I played really steady this morning and made a few more mistakes this afternoon but I’m thoroughly comfortable out on the course and I’m enough with how I'm playing.” With 10 different nationalities represented in the last-16, the international appeal of the Championship was again reflected. After defeating Curtis Cup player Annabell Fuller 3&2 in the last-32, Australian Kelsey Bennett continued to enjoy the warm conditions to reach the quarter-finals. On her first ever visit to the UK, accompanied by her nan, Patsy, 80, for moral support, Bennett carded three birdies on her way to a 5&4 success against Maylis Lamoure from France. “I like Hunstanton,” said Bennett. “The course has been very generous with the weather. It’s a great course and all the members here are unbelievable, like all the spotters and volunteers out there helping us are amazing. “Nan decided to come here with me. She hasn't been here in 40 years. So we decided to come out, and she's been following me around which has been really, really nice.”

World number two exits

Bennett now faces Louise Rydqvist after she notably defeated her fellow Swede, Ingrid Lindblad, who sits second on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®). Rydqvist made four birdies en route to going four up at the turn and she withstood Lindblad’s comeback to win by two holes. She commented, “I feel absolutely great. It was tough out there in the afternoon. It was fun playing with Ingrid, she's a teammate of mine. We know each other pretty well. I see her around in the US, too, since we both play college golf. She's absolutely a great golfer which everybody knows. “It's exciting tomorrow. I've never really been on a live broadcast before so it will be a new experience and I guess it will be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it.” Rydqvist was forced to go to the 19th in the last-32 before edging out Norwegian Emilie Overas.
“It's great to have the live broadcast. We really deserve it. Women's golf is no different to any other type of golf. We go out there and we thrive and we love it. It's nice to see talented women playing tomorrow. They really deserve it and we deserve it. It's nice.”
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Hannah Darling

Scotland

Earl on form

England’s Rebecca Earl, 22, also went to the 19th to defeat Italy’s Letizia Bagnoli and then saw off Gala Dumez from France 4&3 as the Bishop’s Stortford player enjoys a memorable week. Earl now meets Spain’s Carla Bernat, after she ended the hopes of Ffion Tynan who was bidding to become the first Welsh player to win the Women’s Amateur. In their last-16 tie, both players eagled the par-5 11th as Bernat built up a three-up lead but had to hold on for victory on the 18th. “I feel like it's been a long day but it feels good to be through,” said Earl. “I was just kind of steady today, hitting fairways, hitting greens. It was really tough with the wind out there. So I was just waiting for my playing partners to make more mistakes really.”

Italian stays on track

In the bottom half of the draw, Emilie Alba Paltrinieri overcame Viarana Heck from France by one hole and the runner-up in stroke playing qualifying then ended the hopes of local player Amelia Williamson 2&1. The 20-year-old Italian won the Girls’ Amateur title in 2016 at Royal St David’s and lost in the semi-finals of the Women’s Amateur in 2020 as she prepares to face England’s Jessica Baker tomorrow. “I like match play you never know until the end,” said Emilie. “I think just being steady is the key. It would be very exciting to reach the final. I've never played a final in the Women's Amateur. I would be so happy so we'll see. “The Italian coaches always support us, they are great here. They do so many sacrifices for us. They are always helping us. It's a big difference.”

Baker back in last eight

Newcastle native Baker, 19, a quarter-finalist last year, booked her spot in this year’s last eight after beating Charlotte Back from Germany 3&2 and Ireland’s Beth Coulter 2&1 in the earlier round. Baker added, “I think, especially with the field this year, I’m pleased to make it to the quarter-finals. It's a great course and I’ve been playing really well, so it’s very exciting to be here. “It's sort of what have we practice for. I've spent a lot of hours at golf and just to be here and be in the moment and experience this, that is huge.” Fanali joined her team-mate Paltrinieri in the quarter-finals after a 2&1 win against Isabella Fierro from Mexico, having ousted Elsa Svensson from Sweden 3&2 in the morning. The remaining eight players are bidding to join an impressive list of former winners including McCormack Medal winner Leona Maguire and major winners Georgia Hall, Catriona Matthew and Anna Nordqvist – last year's AIG Women's Open Champion at Carnoustie. The R&A will provide live broadcast coverage of the quarter-finals and semi-finals tomorrow and the 36-hole Final on Saturday. This can be watched on The R&A’s website randa.org as well as its YouTube channel. Darling added, “It's great to have the live broadcast tomorrow. We really deserve it. Women's golf is no different to any other type of golf. We go out there and we thrive and we love it. It's nice to see talented women playing tomorrow. They really deserve it and we deserve it. It's nice.” The 119th Women’s Amateur Championship is also open to spectators with free tickets available here. View full scores from the last-32 and last-16 here. Quarter-final draw here.