German Antonia Steiner won The R&A Girls' U16 Amateur Championship after a sudden death play-off
Antonia Steiner defeated Annika Kohoutek with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden death play-off to win the Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at Enville.
The German was in tears after succeeding in the dramatic finale. So was her mum.
Mum was at home spending her afternoon refreshing the scoring and the final result made for good reading for Mrs Steiner. Her daughter got into the play-off thanks to a best of the day one-under-par 71 to post a two-over-par total of 218 and finish honours even with Czech Republic player Kohoutek.
The plus 3.1 player from Hosel Golf Club in Heiligenhaus emerged victorious at the first extra hole, the par-5 opener. Steiner rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt to bring proceedings to an end.
She was on the phone back to Germany immediately after shaking hands with Kohoutek.
“It’s the first big tournament that I’ve won, so I’m very happy,” Steiner said. “I’ve called my mum and she’s very happy. She’s crying too.”
Steiner won four tournaments last year, three in her homeland and one in The Netherlands. She arrived at Enville fresh from finishing 10th in the Scottish Girls’ Open Championship at Longniddry thanks to a pair of two-under-par 71s in the final two rounds.
“I wanted to win this, but I had slight problems with my hands last week so I wasn’t sure if I was going to come and play. I’m happy now that I came.”
Kohoutek returned a closing three-over 75 to get into the play-off. Both players found the right greenside bunker with their second shots, but Kohoutek missed her 25-foot birdie effort to leave the stage for Steiner to become the first German winner of the Girls’ U16 title.
“I didn’t make a lot of mistakes today,” Steiner said. “I was very calm, very confident and I stuck to my game plan. I think the key was how I played 11, 12 and 13, they’re very tough holes.
Steiner played those holes in one under thanks to a birdie at the 11th. She also birdied the 18th to get into the play-off.
“She had good body language today,” said German National coach Sebastian Ruhle.
“Enville Golf Club is quite tough and you have to have some game to win. Antonia showed that today. I’m super proud of her. This is going to be a big boost for her confidence, especially winning in a sudden death play-off with fans watching, photographers and media. So this can give Antonia good momentum for the rest of the year.”
The German international is ranked 12th in the European Under 16 Golf Rankings, but doesn’t have a spot on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. That will change when the ranking are updated this week.
Steiner becomes the fifth winner of the Angela Uzielli Trophy. Uzielli, the late wife of past Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, John Uzielli, was a much-decorated amateur golfer who won the 1977 Women’s Amateur and played in the 1978 Curtis Cup.
Thirty-six hole leader Isobel Kelly returned a five-over 77 to miss the play-off by one shot. The 15-year-old Welsh international had a five-foot birdie putt on the final to join Steiner and Kohoutek in the play-off. The Erewash Golf Club member finished third.
Lauren Crump took home the Liz Pook Trophy as the leading 14 years and under player. The 13-year-old Hill Valley Golf Club member won the trophy by four shots over fellow English player Eleanor Lichtenhein. Crump played in the penultimate group in the final round, and placed equal fourth overall.
“This will definitely boost my confidence,” Crump said. “To play in the second last group in a championship like this is amazing. I’ve played in the last group in other tournaments, but never in something as big as this against older players. I think next year I can do even better.”
Find out more about The R&A Girls' U16 Amateur Championship here.