Ellie Scores Biggest Win

Darlington's Ellie Givens has proved that her ambition to be a top women's professional golfer is certainly within reach after she won the England Girls Championship.

Darlington's Ellie Givens has proved that her ambition to be a top women's professional golfer is certainly within reach after she won the England Girls Championship.

Ellie Givens

The 18-year-old from Blackwell Grange beat Nottinghamshire's Katie Best 2&1 in a hard-fought final at Old Fold Manor in Hertfordshire.

Ellie, whose dad Ralph is head professional at Stressholme Golf Club in Darlington, has just finished her A Levels and takes up a coveted place at a top US university this month.

The youngster takes up her place at Denver in early September and will be hoping to do as well as another local girl who is making big strides, Catterick's Jodie Ewart.

Ellie, our cover star earlier this year, said: "I am really relieved - and happy. I really wanted to win a national championship before I leave for university in the USA.

"This is by far the biggest thing I have won and it makes all the hours of practice and training worthwhile. It's nice to see how it pays off," added the England girl international.

Ellie has been supported by ELGA's lottery-funded training programme since she was 11 and has found it invaluable.

"It's been fantastic, it's helped every aspect of my game, physically and mentally. Everything I could have asked for has been provided," she said.

The final highlighted the battling qualities of the Durham youngster as it was played in bright sunshine, but with tricky, swirling winds.

Ellie won the first hole and was never behind, but several times her 17 year-old opponent from Sherwood Forest pulled her back to all square.

"It was a really close match and Katie kept coming back at me right to the end," said Ellie. "I struggled a bit at the beginning but had a couple of really good up-and-downs later on."

Two up, Katie squared matters after the 12th but the Durham player came straight back to win the 13th and held on to that slender advantage through the closing holes.

The 17th was the deciding hole where both girls missed the fairway but while Ellie was able to put her second shot close to the green, Katie had to pitch out sideways and was left with a 100-yard approach, which finished right of the green.

Both girls chipped up and when Katie missed her putt she conceded Ellie's three-footer - and the championship was decided.

Both players had poor preparation for their semi-finals after they were woken in the small hours by a fire alarm at their hotel. But both put on a sparkling display and won their semi-finals by comfortably margins.

Ellie played almost flawless golf to beat local player Lucy Williams (Mid-Herts) 4 and 3. Katie picked up four birdies in the early holes and defeated Charlotte Dalton (Ladbrook Park) 5 and 4.

SCORES: Quarter finals: L Williams (Mid-Herts) bt R Dyer (Hayling) 1 up; E Givens (Blackwell Grange) bt H Key (South Herts) 3 and 2. K Best (Sherwood Forest) bt C Field 2 up; C Dalton (Ladbrook Park) bt S Evans (Faversham) at 19th. Semi-finals: Givens beat Williams 4 and 3; Best bt Dalton 5 and 4.

 

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