Saturday, August 13, 2016

 It's England v Italy in British girls' final 

(Wardle v Paltrinieri)

                  Isobel Wardle in action this morning. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.
Isobel Wardle, 16-year-old from Prestbury near Manchester, has become first English player to reach the final of the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship since Georgia Hall won the title at Tenby Golf Club, Wales, in 2012.
The No 8 seed, Isobel, won her semi-final at Royal St David's GC, Harlech, also in Wales, this morning by 2 and 1 over the No. 12 qualifier from Italy, 14-year-old Alessia Nobilio.
In this afternoon's 18-hole final, Wardle will play the surprise packet of the tournament, Emilie Paltrinieri, a 14-year-old from Italy.
Emilie, who was 39th of the 64 match-play qualifiers, followed up her surprise 5 and 3 quarter-final win over the No. 2 seed, Norway's Madelene Stavnar, by beating the No 3 seed, Julia Engstrom (Sweden), by 4 and 2.
Engstrom, at 15, was the youngest ever winner of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Dundonald Links in June.
"I love match-play," said Isobel Wardle after her match in which she was three up after seven and four up after 10.
"But I was very, very nervous over the first two holes before I settled. My hands were shaking after I hit the first tee shot," she said.
"I knew I had to pull myself together if I was not going to let this great chance to reach a British final pass me by. I said to myself 'I really want to win this, so get a grip of yourself,' ... and I did.
"Although I had a good lead for most of the semi-final, I still had to play well to win and I am lucky that my best form of the season has coincided with the British girls' championship.
Wardle won the first hole with a par but was pulled back to square when the young Italian birdied the second.
The third was halved in 5s before Wardle got a birdie 2 at the short fourth to go one up again. Isobel doubled that lead with a 4 at the short sixth and she took the long seventh as well with a par 5 to be three up, a lead she maintained to reach in the turn in roughly par 36.
Wardle went four up with a par at the 10th but lost the 12th to a birdie 4 to be three up with six to play.
The par-5 13th was halved in birdie 4s and the long 15th also was halved in birdies.
Nobilio won 16th with a par 4 to be only two down but Wardle needed only a half at the 17th, which she got, to win the match 2 and 1 with roughly par or one-under-par figures.
Engstrom was not at her best in today's semi-final in which she would have had to be to cope with the sub-par golf produced by the 14-year-old Italian surprise packet of the championship, Emilie Paltrinieri
The Italian was two up at the turn, having won the first with a par and the short ninth with a birdie 2. The other seven holes on the outward journey were halved.
Things began to look ominous for Engstrom when she lost the 10th to a birdie to go three down and then Paltrinieri hit her with another birdie, at the par-5 12th to four up.
Engstrom raised her game one last time, birdieing the long 13th and short 14th to win both and cut her deficit to two.  But instead of carrying on from there, the World No 23 bogeyed the 15th to fall back to three down  and conceded the 16th for a 4 and 2 defeat that was not predicted.
Paltrinieri was roughly two under par for the holes played.

Isobel Wardle (Prestbury) bt Alessia Nobilio (Italy) 2 and 1.
Emilie Paltrinieri (Italy) bt Julie Engstrom (Sweden) 4 and 2 
Emilie Paltrinieri, 14-year-old Italian, has reached the final after being the 39th qualifier. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.