Alice wins crown for second year

SECOND WIN: Suffolk Ladies Champion Alice Barlow holds the Churchman Challenge Cup PICTURE: Contributed
SECOND WIN: Suffolk Ladies Champion Alice Barlow holds the Churchman Challenge Cup PICTURE: Contributed

Newton Green’s Alice Barlow has hit a winning stride at the start of her season, breaking a women’s course record as well as becoming Suffolk Ladies’ Matchplay champion for the second successive year.

The 18-year-old, who is also a member of the Hintlesham Golf Club, knocked two shots off her own course record at Newton Green Golf Club earlier this month.

The final year student at Thomas Gainsborough School then took to the Aldeburgh Links to compete for her second county title.

It follows her run of success last year, meaning she can look forward to being a qualifier for the England Women’s Amateur Open in July.

She said: “I was delighted to win the Suffolk Ladies’ competition again, surprised and delighted.

“I wanted to become champion again but I knew it was going to be a tough competition.

“This year’s win topped last year’s as it was a tough test on the Links with some tricky pin positions and very dry fairways — it was all about position.

“There were some really strong competitors too.

“I played some great golf over the weekend and it wasn’t easy with a rematch of last year’s final against Lottie Whyman at the quarter-final stage.

“It was a great game in itself.

“My dad Mark who caddied helped me greatly again and kept me in good spirit throughout.

“I’m now looking forward to County Week in June where I think we stand a great chance of doing well at Hunstanton Golf Club.”

She will spend the majority of the summer playing in leading women’s amateur events and can’t wait to take on surrounding counties next month.

“I went last year and it was great fun and great experience”, she said.

“We have a really strong team, too, so I’m feeling positive about our chances.

“I’m also hoping to build on my skills and improve my handicap to +2 this year, and competitions like this will help.

“It’s going to be a pretty busy summer”.

She also recently appeared in the Welsh Open, although a nine in her opening round left her down the field.

To date, her best finish has been fifth.

Barlow added: “I made the cut and that was my aim.

“But I didn’t have the best third round which was a little disappointing.”

Playing to retain the Earl Howe Trophy Barlow carded a 65, three-under-par 68, at Newton Green. This was two better than her previous course record.

And she became the Suffolk Ladies Matchplay champion for the second successive year by defeating Suffolk team-mate Sharon Luckman in a tight final at Aldeburgh Golf club.

The competition starts with 36 Holes of Medal play on Friday for the stroke play title where Alice finished fourth, with the top 16 qualifying for a weekend of knockout match play for the Championship Title.