England's Chloe Tarbard claimed a one-shot victory at the Scottish Girls' Open Championship at Powfoot

Chloe Tarbard conquered the elements and a strong field at the Scottish Girls’ Open Championship to record the biggest win of her blossoming career.

On a day of brutal weather at Powfoot Golf Club, Dumfriesshire, the England girls’ squad member posted a one over par round of 74.

Alongside an opening round of 75 on Wednesday and another 74 in Thursday's round two, the Royal Norwich golfer was able to sign for a total of 223 (+4) and claim a one-shot victory over England team-mate Nellie Ong, Ireland’s Hannah Lee-McNamara and Marla Neuhaus from Germany.

Having started the day six shots behind the 36-hole leader, Freya Russell from Royal Troon, Tarbard had to dig deep to record victory against a field of players drawn from 10 countries across the world.

Battling the elements and the field

Tarbard said: “It means so much to win the Scottish Girls’ Open. It’s the biggest event I’ve played in and won and it feels great. The whole event has been good and really well run.

“The last few holes I was trying to just scrape pars. The conditions were crazy, I’m just happy that I kept it together.

“I won the English Under 16s last year and it’s a really good feeling to know that I can do this under pressure.

“When I won the Under 16s I was seven back so I had it in my head that I could win and that was my motivation today.”

As the wind and rain buffeted the golfers, Tarbard showed nerve to hole a 12-foot par putt on the final green – a sweet stroke that ultimately earned her the win.

“I didn’t know if my putt on 18 was to win or go into a play-off. I just tried so hard to hole it and was shaking. When it dropped I was so happy.”

Three days of competition in Dumfrisshire

The three days of competition in Dumfriesshire provided a stern examination and produced a worthy champion.

Day one at Powfoot brought strong winds and driving rain sweeping in off the Solway Firth. Credit to Dunfermline’s Evie McCallum and Germany’s Maxima Purkart for posting excellent scores of 71 to share the clubhouse lead on two-under-par.

Only the Herculean efforts of head greenkeeper George Corbett and his team kept the course playable before an evening haar and poor light halted play at 7pm.

The first round was completed in relative calm on day two with the wind relenting and the sun poking through the clouds in the early part of the day.

The course, however, was not playing easy and as the wind gusted off the water as the day went on, players from 10 nations found the going tough in round two.

All except Scotland girls’ squad member Russell, that is.

The young Scot bounced back from a bogey on the first with an eagle on the third before dropping a second shot on the next hole. However, Russell kept her nerve to then fashion six birdies and eagle in a six-under par round of 67.

Russell ended the second round four clear of Germany’s Marla Neuhaus and Ireland’s Hannah Lee McNamara.

A total of 66 players made the cut which fell at +14.

A final day shootout

With a mix of Scots, Germans, Irish, English and Welsh golfers in the top ten heading into the last round, the final day shootout was a true reflection of the field’s international make up.

In truly brutal conditions, Russell’s overnight lead was pegged back to just one after eight holes, the Scot dropping five shots on the front nine as the wind howled and the rain battered down. A birdie at 10 steadied the ship, but the next hole proved the Scot’s undoing.

A penalty shot for an unplayable lie followed by two lost balls resulted in a 10 en route to final round of 85. Russell finished as the top Scot in a tie for eighth. Dunfermline’s Evie McCallum was the next placed Scot in 25th.

Germany’s Neuhaus won the Menzies Trophy as the leading player aged under 16.

A challenging week with the weather

Darren Burrows, manager at Powfoot Golf Club, said: “It’s a big honour for the club to host the Scottish Girls’ Open and we’d like to congratulate Chloe on her win.

“We couldn’t host this event in 2020 due to COVID and you may be interested to know the weather that week was beautiful!

“The weather has been challenging this week, but the girls seem to have enjoyed it and left the course with smiles which is great to see.

“George, Alan, Stephen and young Liam our greenkeepers have been working hard from dawn to dusk to keep the course in great condition. They are a credit to the club.

“Our volunteers too have been amazing – to do what they do for the love of the game and with the only payment being a cup of tea is fantastic. Every club need volunteers and we’re no exception and it was great to see so many get involved and then stay on to spectate.”

View the final results here. Next year’s Scottish Girls’ Open Championship will be staged at Arbroath from 9-11 April 2025.