19 Jan 2020 | National Championships |
Unstoppable Heath claims #AusAm
by Kirsty Wrice
Charlotte Heath became the first Brit in 24 years and only the fifth in the 126-year history to win the Australian Women’s Amateur today – and she did it in spectacular style.
Heath, who hails from Huddersfield Golf Club in the UK, was unstoppable throughout the 31-hole showdown against Indonesia’s Mela Putri on her way to a 7&6 victory.
The Englishwomen was dominant when the contest was on the line, winning or halving the first 20 holes.
“It was a bit stressful and I was super nervous to start with,” the England golf squad member said.
“I got off to quite a quick start so that helped and then the second 18 she started playing really good so it was a really intense match.”
Heath found momentum early, jumping out of the blocks to a 4-UP lead in the opening nine holes.
Birdies on 10, 12 and 13 extended her buffer to seven as Putri lost her touch with the putter that took her from a playoff to even qualify the match play phase all the way to the women's final.
There were few concerns for the 18-year-old over lunch with an eight-hole lead in her pocket, the highlight coming soon after when Heath holed out for eagle from the par-4 third fairway.
Heath's 5-iron from 180 yards “just ran into the hole”, taking the Yorkshirewoman to 10-UP for the first time.
Putri was eventually able to stem the bleeding with a spirited fightback, the Indonesian winning four of the next five holes after her opponent's flash of brilliance, including a chip-in of her own for eagle on the par-5 seventh.
“I made two bogies and then she made two birdies so I dropped quite a few," Heath said, "But then just kind of kept my head and kept going.”
But another birdie on 10 for Heath and a half on the 11th meant the writing was on the wall for Putri, the match coming to its inevitable conclusion on the 31st hole.
World No.229 Heath rammed home a sublime 12-footer from off the green at the short par-4 12th return to snatch a half and write her name into the Australian Amateur record books.
The 7&6 victory is Heath's first in a national championship and just her third anywhere in the world, following two previous wins back home.
In only her second trip to Australia, Heath will now play in next month’s Women’s Australian Open and the Vic Open.
With aspirations to turn pro after college, starts at two of the country’s largest professional women’s events, both sanctioned by the LPGA tour, will be a dream come true.
Provided she can get out of school.
“I’ve never played in any (LPGA) events before, so hopefully I can get it off school," Heath said.
"My mum is working on it…”
Previous British winners of the women's Australian Amateur Championship:
1955 Miss V. Anstey (Great Britain)
1935 Miss J. B. Walker (Great Britain)
1905 Miss M. Backhouse (Great Britain)
1995 Julie Hall (Great Britain)
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