Austria’s Isabella Holpfer finished 11 shots clear of the field to take the crown at the English Women’s Open Amateur Championship at Coventry Golf Club.
Austria’s Isabella Holpfer completed a remarkable wire-to-wire victory in the English Women’s Open Amateur Championship when she finished 11 shots clear of the field at Coventry Golf Club.
The 17-year-old was 13-under par and dominated the championship from the word go. In the first round, she shot 7-under 66 and was six shots clear of the field – sending a very loud message to her rivals.
She marked time in round two, with a level par score, but her challengers stayed five behind her. Then, in Thursday’s final 36 holes she put her foot down, with a plan “to make as many birdies as I could.”
She was 5-under par and opened up a 10 shot lead, following up with a triumphant procession around the course before eventually signing off with a 1-under par, 72.
“This is pretty good!” she said.
“This is my last tournament of the season. I’ve had a pretty good season and it’s nice to finish off with a win.”
Holpfer arrived in Coventry straight from the British Girls’ Championship where she finished in second place, and the experience had both honed her and made her hungry for a win.
“I was in a pretty good mood after the British Girls'. I was playing good and I came here prepared, already warmed up,” she commented.
This is one of Holpfer's biggest wins in her young career, but she adds it to two impressive victories; the Irish Women’s Open, which she won at just 14 years old, and the Slovenian Ladies Championship, which she won earlier this season.
It is also helping her season’s ambition of improving her world ranking. “I had a bad season two years ago and I fell back in the world rankings to around 700th from the 200s.” This week she discovered that she had reached a personal high of 226th – and it will improve further after this win.
Her performance at Coventry won her many, admiring friends who marvelled at her prowess. Holpfer rarely made mistakes, but if she did find trouble, she generally had the answer.
In the final's morning round, Holpfer holed out of a bunker. In the afternoon, when blocked out by trees, she played the most imaginative shot to the 9th green, threading the ball between bunkers and around the contours of a bank. And then she almost holed the putt for birdie.
“My long game was good, I was pretty confident with my driver and didn’t make too many mistakes – and most of the time I was putting pretty well.”
Now Holpfer heads off on holiday with her parents – father Gunter was on the bag this week – and then it’s back to school.
The runner-up on 2-under par was Pasquale Coffa of the Netherlands, followed by Ireland’s Jessica Ross, who took third place on level par.
The leading English players, all scoring one-over, were Georgia Price (Bude & North Cornwall), Cara Gainer (Castle Royle) and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland).
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Image credit: Leaderboard Photography