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Lottie wins R&A crown with a Carnoustie masterclass

Lottie Woad produced a golfing exhibition of the highest quality to sink her Spanish opponent and claim an outstanding victory in the final of The R&A’s Girls’ Amateur Championship.

The England international blew away the challenge from Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio to win today’s 36-hole showdown over the famous Carnoustie Golf Links by a margin of 7&6.

Woad was 2up following the morning round after completing her 18 holes in three under par – but really went into overdrive in the afternoon session.

The 18-year-old closed out the match with a nerveless eight-foot birdie putt on the 12th green taking her to six under par through those 12 holes.

The Surrey golfer was simply too hot for her Spanish rival to handle in every aspect of the game.

Woad’s ball-striking, skill around the green and her composure under pressure allowed her to dominate her shellshocked rival who, far from playing poorly, was also under par for both rounds when the match came to an end.

Woad actually fell behind in the morning round after Garcia-Poggio birdied the fourth hole and it looked as if the golfer from Madrid had settled into her rhythm quicker than her opponent from Surrey.

But after drawing level with an eagle on the sixth hole – the notorious ‘Hogan’s Alley’ – Woad never looked back.

A birdie two on the eighth hole put her ahead and the lead was doubled with another birdie on the 13th.

After lunch, Woad was in unstoppable form. A bogey at the opening hole from the Spaniard handed Woad another hole and it was soon clear that there was only going to be one winner.

A hat-trick of birdies from the fourth hole put Woad in cruise control and knocked the stuffing out of her opponent.

Another three birdies in succession from the 10th allowed Woad to close out the match.

Watched on by proud dad Nick, mum Rachel and sister Millie, Woad admitted that she was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of one of her idols, Georgia Hall, and lift the girls’ title.

She said: “I don’t think it will sink in for a while, but I’m very happy.

“I’m lost for words – I couldn’t remember how many holes I was up and I wasn’t sure if the putt on 12 was for the match – I just tried to hole it!”

“It’s great to have my name on the same trophy as Georgia and previous winners as they have gone on to do amazing things and I hope I can go on to follow them.

“It’s great to finish my junior career with this win.”

Woad’s win means that an English competitor has won this title 37 times since it was first played for in 1919.

The last English winner was Lily May Humphreys in 2017 and previous champions included future Solheim Cup legends Hall, Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen.

Victory caps another amazing summer for the teenager from Farnham who has progressed along the England Golf player pathway to the point where she is rated as one of the hottest talents in world amateur golf.

Having started the year in the England girls’ squad following on from a 2021 campaign that saw her win both the England Golf Girls’ and the Women’s Orders of Merit, Woad earned a promotion to the women’s team for the European Team Championships.

As a rookie she showed her quality by holing the winning putt in the gold match against Italy at Conwy.

“Winning the gold medal at the Europeans with England was the highlight of my career but this might top it now,” added Woad.

“It’s been a good year with a busy run of events. I’m glad to finish it off with victory in I think my last junior event.”

Woad also helped England’s men’s and women’s team claim victory in the Home Internationals at Ballyliffin.

Woad now heads to America to begin her college career at Florida State University, but has one last team appearance to make before the end of the 2022 campaign.

Later this month, Woad will join forces with Charlotte Heath and Caley McGinty at the World Amateur Team Championships in Paris hoping to propel England into medal contention.

Lottie’s Road to Victory

Stroke play qualifying: 72, 71 (2nd)

Round of 64 – beat Cloe Amion Villarino (Spain) 2 holes

Round of 32 – beat Juliette Demeaux (France) 4&3

Round of 16 – beat Paula Garcia Balanzategui (Spain) 2&1

Quarter final – beat Emily James (Wales) 6&4

Semi final – beat Rachel Gourley (England) 5&4

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