WORLD number three Bronte Law set out to stamp her authority on the English women’s amateur championship – and she succeeded, retaining her title at Hunstanton on 13-under par and with a 16-shot winning margin.
“I didn’t just want to come here and win by a bit. I really wanted to put a stamp on this, that’s what I came here to do,” said the 20-year-old from Bramhall in Cheshire.
Law is only the fourth player to successfully defend the trophy and the first for 20 years. She said: “Coming back and winning this again is big for me. You can win once, but winning again really proved to me that I have come a long way as a player.”
Her outstanding performance was recognised by Hunstanton, which made her an honorary member.
Meanwhile, the battle for second place was won by Yorkshire’s Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall) who pipped Lizzie Prior (Burhill) with her better last round after they both finished on three-over. Law made her title intentions very clear from the first round when she opened with a score of nine-under par 63, which included 11 birdies. She followed up with 69 in the second round and was one-under for the final 36 holes with scores of 69 and 74 returned in an ever-increasing wind.
In the third round she got to six-under par after the 15th, with a pair of eagles and a pair of birdies but dropped shots on the last three holes.
In the final round, the winds grew steadily stronger, but Law responded with steady play designed to limit any errors. “I’m really happy with how I played in the conditions. It was tough and to be under par for the day is pretty good. It was windy out there and when you stand over those short putts they don’t feel so short anymore!”
Her lead grew and grew throughout the tournament, from three shots, to 10, to 13 and finally to 16. But she never relaxed: “I don’t get complacent, I know there’s a lot of good players out there. I never think I’m cruising. For me it’s about creating my own challenges each day and trying to be best player I can be.
“I kind of forgot about the score and tried to enjoy the experience – and having my family with me made it so nice,” she said. Law was accompanied by her mother, 11-year-old sister Bella, 91-year-old grandfather and the family dog. Dad had to go work!
She paid tribute to her home coach, Richard Green at Bramhall, who “has taught me the sort of shots I needed out in the wind. He has been really influential throughout my career.”
Her experience at university in America, where she is a student at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), has also played its part – and she has two more years there. But first, her attention turns to the European individual championship in Austria. “Having four solid rounds of strokeplay under my belt is definitely going to help me,” she said.