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Sarah-Jane's dash pays off

4th July 2014

Sarah-Jane's dash pays off

Sarah-Jane Boyd (Image © Leaderboard Photography)

Cornwall's Sarah-Jane Boyd has played her way into the quarter finals of the English women's open mid-amateur championship at Bath – despite a dramatic dash to the course.

The reigning English amateur champion (Image © Leaderboard Photography) made her morning tee-time with just two minutes to spare, before pounding a drive straight down the middle of the first fairway and going on to win her morning match 2up and her afternoon game by 2/1.

“Who needs a warm-up?” she joked afterwards. “Very over-rated!”

The quarter finals are: Sammie Giles (St Mellion) v Alex Saunders (Bristol & Clifton); Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) v Chelsea Masters (Highwoods); Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) v Bethany Round (Enville); Jess Bradley (Tiverton) v Georgina Mundy (Corhampton)

Sarah-Jane's problems began as she drove to the course: “We left lots of time but we got caught up in the traffic congestion, then our satnav packed up in the middle of Bath – and we hadn't a clue where we were going.

“So we stopped and rang for a taxi which took 15 minutes to arrive and then the driver said it was 10 minutes to the course – and I was due off in 14 minutes. It was just a nightmare.”

She dashed straight from the car park to the tee, eventually making it with two minutes to spare to play Nottinghamshire's Emily Mae Hall. Despite the dash, Sarah-Jane was below par during the match and went on this afternoon to beat Kent's Jessica Gregory in another low-scoring game.

“I've had two really good matches which is good, because it gets you match fit,” she remarked. Now she plays Bethany Round who defeated Yorkshire's Hannah Holden on the 19th.

Bethany, 19, a sports science student at Birmingham University, was one-down playing the 18th but managed to square the match and then take the honours with a good up and down for par on the 19th.

Top seed Sammie Giles came through two close matches to take her place in the quarter finals. The 19-year-old from Cornwall beat Hampshire's Aimee Paterson 2 up in the afternoon, having won her first round match against Oxfordshire's Sophie Stone on the 18th. “Both matches were quality and both were as hard as each other,” said Sammie.    

Her opponent tomorrow is Alex Saunders, from nearby Bristol & Clifton, who defeated Lancashire's Emma Clegg 2/1 in the second round. The Gloucestershire county player knows this course well but the extended length and the use of men's white tees is giving her a new perspective on it: “I really like the set up, it's very interesting,” she said.

Cheshire's Gemma Clews, 19, came through a real roller coaster against Staffordshire's Samantha Meese to take her place in the quarter finals. She was five up after six holes; one down after 13; and all square after she birdied the short 14th.

The players halved the next two holes before Gemma finally won the match with a pair of pars on 17 and 18. “It was all on the putting, for both of us,” said Gemma, who tied third in the recent Welsh open stroke play championship.

Now, she plays Chelsea Masters, who forged ahead on the back nine to beat Charlotte Hindmoor. The pair were neck and neck over the front nine, but Chelsea sped ahead when she won 11, 12 and 13. She chipped in for a birdie to halve 14 and then closed out the match by winning the long 5th with a par.

“I've very happy, I haven't been playing very well this year and I wasn't very confident,” said Chelsea. “But I've been working on my swing and it's finally coming together. And, I just love playing this course, I was very excited when I heard the English was coming here.”

Devon's Jess Bradley has a good record in this event, having reached the final three years ago. More recently, she helped Lynn University, Florida, to success in their national team championship, this year and last, and she is continuing her good form in the championship.

She beat Scotland's Rachel Walker 2/1 this afternoon in a tight match in which she broke the deadlock with a birdie on 14 and went further ahead with a par on 16.

Her opponent in tomorrow' quarter final is Hampshire champion Georgina Mundy  – whose sister, Katie, won this championship in 2009. She defeated Gloucestershire's Bethan Popel by one hole at the end of another close match.

Georgina, who was never behind, remarked: “It was a good match and tight all the way round. I was always in the lead, but we went back to all square when she birdied the 15th – and I horseshoed out. But then I won the 17th and halved 18 with pars.”

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