Masters reaches final four

Chelsea Masters in action at the English Women's Mid-Amateur Championship. Picture courtesy Leaderboard Photography
Chelsea Masters in action at the English Women's Mid-Amateur Championship. Picture courtesy Leaderboard Photography

A Highwoods golfing talent reached the final four of a prestigious national competition last weekend.

Chelsea Masters went all the way to the semi-finals of the English Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Bath Golf Club.

Masters was fifth in the initial strokeplay element of the tournament after rounds of 77 and 74 gave her a seven-over-par 36-hole total of 151.

The leading 32 players advanced to the matchplay knockout phase, which Masters began with a convincing 6&4 victory over Sophie Hillier (John O’Gaunt). Masters hit top form as she was four-under-par and five ahead at the turn, and played steadily thereafter to win on the 14th.

She then saw off Charlotte Hindmoor (Cleveland) 4&3 in the last 16. The pair were neck and neck over the front nine, but Masters sped ahead when she won 11, 12 and 13. The Highwoods player chipped in for a birdie to halve 14 and then closed out the match by winning the long 15th with a par.

After that match, Masters said: “I’m very happy. I haven’t been playing very well this year and I wasn’t very confident, but I’ve been working on my swing and it’s finally coming together. I just love playing this course. I was very excited when I heard the English was coming here.”

Masters edged out Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) by two holes in an up-and-down quarter-final match. She was quickly ahead and, after playing the front nine in level par, was three-up.

But Clews fought back on the back nine and after 15 holes she was one ahead. Masters then produced a late attack, getting back to all square with a par on the 16th and grabbing a one-up lead on the 17th with a birdie three. Masters went on to win the 18th after Clews tangled with a tree and eventually conceded the hole.

Her fine run was eventually ended with a 4&3 defeat at the hands of eventual champion Samantha Giles (St Mellion) in the semi-finals.

Giles was up throughout the match, starting and finishing it with birdies on the 1st and 15th. She putted well when it really mattered, holding her nerve over a short, but testing putt on the 13th; holing a good six-footer to halve the short 14th in par and then closing out the match with another six-footer on the 15th.

The pair are such good friends that Masters will be staying with Giles when they play in the English Amateur Championship at St Enodoc next week.