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British title for Lancashire hot-shot

CLITHEROE’S Sophie Lamb won the British women’s strokeplay championship by two shots at Knock Golf Club, Belfast, earlier this month – and, at one-under for 72 holes, was the only player in the field to beat par.

It’s a first women’s title for the 18-year-old England international and she said: “It’s amazing, but it hasn’t really sunk in.”

Lamb had her dad, Phil, on the bag as her caddie and added: “I couldn’t have done it without him.”

But her mum, Carina, had to wait for the news that her daughter had won her first major championship – she was on a plane to Spain. “We’ll have to ring her when she lands,” added Lamb.

The teenager moved steadily through the field after a first round of four-over 77, which left her six shots off the pace. “I struggled a bit off the tee and you can’t do that on this course,” she said.

She came straight back with five-under 68 – six birdies and just one bogey – to put herself firmly in contention at two shots off the lead. Lamb played solid golf in the final morning’s third round, returning one-under 72, but remained two shots behind the leader, 14-year-old Alessia Nobilio of Italy.

In the afternoon’s fourth round Nobilio fell away while Lamb kept up her steady progress to the title, despite the challenge of Wrexham’s Chloe Williams who closed with a three-under 70 to finish runner-up, two shots back.

“I had nine straight pars to start, then a bogey and a double, but I had some birdies coming in,” said Lamb, who signed off with a one-over 74.

“I was focussed on playing my own game and trying to give myself chances. I didn’t want to get sucked in to having to make a birdie here or there.”

Lamb has been challenging for a big win all season, having been leading qualifier in the English women’s matchplay championship, tied fourth in the English women’s amateur and sixth in the English strokeplay. She also helped England win the Women’s Home Internationals last month.

Her next big date is the World Junior Girls’ Championship in Canada later this month and she said: “This is really good for my confidence.”

Pictured are Sophie Lamb and her dad, Phil, with her trophies.