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21-Year-Old Golfer Lily Hirst Stuns with Epic Win at English Women’s Open Stroke Play

Lily Hirst

Huddersfield’s Lily Hirst emerged victorious at the English Women’s Open Stroke Play, clinching the title with a commanding performance at Stoneham Golf Club.

Following a steady level-par round in the morning, the 21-year-old sealed her victory with a final round score of -4, securing a four-shot lead over her closest competitor, Darcey Harry from Wales.

Reflecting on her triumph, Hirst expressed her elation, saying, “I’m speechless. I feel like I’ve been dreaming of winning a tournament like this after I won the Champion of Champions a few years ago.”

“I shot level-par in the morning and I was only one back heading into the final 18, so I thought I should attack everything and hole a few more putts as I left a few short in the morning. I knew I needed to shoot low.

“The 7th is obviously driveable and I hit a 5-wood and it bounced perfectly onto the green.”

“I had a six-foot putt downhill, I got over it and as soon as I looked at the hole, I knew I was going to hole it. As soon as I did hole it, I knew it was going to be a good day.”

The competition saw intense moments as Darcey Harry made a strong start with three birdies in the opening three holes of the final day. (read more here)

Meanwhile, Millie Cottrell, known for her spectacular play including three eagles on the second day, could not maintain her momentum.

Millie Cottrell
Millie Cottrel

Despite leading heading into the final round, Harry could not match Hirst’s consistency and finished behind her.

Davina Xanh from Burnham & Berrow also made a notable effort, shooting -3 in her morning round.

Her back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes in the final round, including driving the green on the latter, brought her within striking distance of the lead.

However, a setback on the 16th hole halted her momentum, leading to a level-par finish and a commendable third place overall.

Iceland’s Gudrun Thorsteindottir, who started strongly with a remarkable -6 on the front nine on the first day, remained competitive throughout the tournament.

Gudrun Thorsteindottir
Gudrun Thorsteindottir

However, three dropped shots in the final three holes saw her finish tied for fourth place with England’s Matilde Santilli, who herself struggled in the closing stages with three dropped shots on the final two holes, finishing +1 overall.

Johanna Ebner from Austria also displayed a strong performance, maintaining her position at the top with three birdies on the front nine of the final round.

Despite some setbacks after the turn, she finished tied for fourth place alongside Thorsteindottir.

Switzerland’s Amelie Weber delivered an outstanding performance with seven birdies in the final round, finishing at -5 and tied for seventh place overall with Frankie Dezis (Burnham & Berrow), Zoe Rubichon from France, and Ellen Yates from West Hill, last year’s English Amateur champion, all finishing at +2 overall.

Despite the tense competition, Hirst demonstrated her resilience and skill to secure a decisive victory.

When asked about her plans to celebrate, she humorously remarked, “I’ve got a six-hour drive home back to Yorkshire so we’ll probably have to stay somewhere overnight and I’ll probably have some chocolate or my favourite sweets – some Percy Pigs!”

“I’ve got a few weeks off and then I’m playing the English U25 Championship at Woburn so I’m excited for that.”

Elsewhere, Ireland’s Roisin Scanlon, who led after the first two days, faced challenges in the final group alongside Ebner, ultimately finishing tied-17th on +7. You can view the final leaderboard here.

Check out the final leaderboard here.