The Women's Amateur

Williamson Eyes Birthday Celebrations at Hunstanton

Amelia Williamson turns 22 this Thursday, the same week as The 119th Women’s Amateur Championship at Hunstanton.

The R&A
20 Jun 22
3 mins

The England international and Norfolk native can think of no better birthday present than standing with the Championship Cup, a Gold Medal and the Pam Barton Memorial Salver for beating the world’s elite in practically her own backyard.

“It most definitely would be a nice present, one that would be hard to top,” Williamson admitted.

World-class field

At 47th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), Williamson isn’t the outright favourite. World number two Ingrid Lindblad, who recently finished low amateur in the US Women’s Open, holds that distinction. Other strong top 20 challengers (WAGR® rankings in brackets) include Austrian Emma Spitz (eight), Caley McGinty (nine) of England, Alexandra Forsterling (12) of Germany, Scot Hannah Darling (14), Swede Meja Ortengren (15), Spanish international Carolina Lopez-Chacarra (18) and Italy’s Benedetta Moresco (26). Add in defending champion Louise Duncan (48) and Williamson clearly has her work cut out over the seaside links. However, the Florida State player has one huge advantage: she is a Hunstanton member, as well as being a member of nearby Sheringham Golf Club. In fact, Williamson is the Hunstanton women’s course record holder. She returned a six-under 69 during a club competition on 12 August 2020.

Hunstanton course record 

“I probably haven’t played as much there as people might think because I only joined in 2017 and I’ve been away in college, but it’s a course I know well and feel comfortable on,” she said. “The fairway bunkers are really well positioned. If you can hit a lot of fairways it makes it easier, especially on the par-5s. If you can do that then most of them are probably reachable and that’s a huge advantage around Hunstanton.” Needless to say, Williamson will have much local support from the host club and Sheringham, where she holds a +4.7 handicap. Part of her fan club will include her mother and father, Tracey and Mark. Tracey is an England senior international, while Mark has been a Norfolk county captain and still plays off two. Amelia and Tracey made history at Woodhall Spa last year when they helped England win the women’s and senior women’s R&A Home Internationals, the first mother/daughter combo to achieve that feat.

Family Affair

“Fairly competitive would be a bit of an understatement to describe when we play together as a family,” she smiled. “There’s no such thing as a casual round; there’s always a little competition and no holding back. That’s been a big part of my development.  “My parents have helped me an awful lot. They understood that the best thing for me to learn and mature was to travel and play tournaments and not to stay local, so they bent over backwards to take me to as many tournaments and places as possible.” 

In-form player

Williamson is in the best form of her life. In February she won her maiden collegiate title in style, capturing the Florida State Match Up by six shots. She’s also just made her Curtis Cup debut at Merion. “My confidence is high,” Williamson said. “I’ve matured because of college golf, especially my short game. There’s been a much greater emphasis on my wedge play, which I realised needed work when I first went to college. I’ve put a lot of time into that facet of my game.” Williamson has excelled academically too. She’s just completed her degree in sports medicine with honours. She’s returning to Tallahassee in September for another year to complete an economics degree before deciding on her future. And a return to college as R&A Women’s Amateur Champion? “I’ll be confident but there are a lot of great players in the field,” she said. “I’m just grateful I get to play such a massive tournament so close to home. It just makes it so much easier for me to have family and friends there, because that obviously doesn’t happen a lot. My grandparents will be able to come and watch and that’s the main thing I’m excited about. That will make it a special week because they don’t get many opportunities to see me play.” Call it a family affair – perhaps with extra birthday celebrations.