Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club star Lily May Humphreys still aiming to hit the professional ranks in 2021 despite coronavirus lockdown frustrations
Great Cornard’s national title holder Lily May Humphreys has revealed she is determined to still try to hit her target of turning professional for the 2021 season.
For the 18-year-old Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club-trained England Women’s player, this year was set to be a big campaign to mark the end of her time in the amateur ranks.
Her 2019 season had seen her hit a career best of 16th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings after winning the Welsh Ladies Amateur Open, Irish Women’s Amateur and coming runner-up in the English Women’s Amateur Open.
She also started 2020 in fine form, with top 20 positions in big events in the USA, Portugal and Spain before winning the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes in March.
She had hoped to continue that good run of major tournaments across Europe before heading to the USA to try to earn herself a prized Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour card in September, but the coronavirus pandemic has left her kicking her heels since that win in Berkshire.
Up until Wednesday’s partial lifting of the restrictions, which allowed golf clubs to reopen to members with socially-distanced measures in place, she had been hitting into a bed sheet hanging in her garden and chipping into buckets for around four to five hours a day.
“It is a bit annoying that my last season before going pro turns out like this. But I will just have to see what happens and what tournaments I can play as most of them have been called off,” she said.
The English Women’s Amateur Championship at Woodhall Spa, in Lincolnshire, from July 28 to August 1, is now set to be played alongside the men’s event, and that seems to be her new target of a return tocompetitive action on the course.
The LPGA qualifying school, with three stages, has had its start in Venice, Florida, moved from August 17 to October 10, which she is grateful for.
She said: “I want to do the LPGA as there are more competitions, the money side of it is better and the weather is good.”
She would also like to get access to playing on the Ladies European Tour (LET), though Q School is not until early next year.
Playing in The Junior Ryder Cup, in Whistling Straits Kohler, Wisconsin, from September 22 still remains a hope for now, at least, before she looks to sign off from the amateur ranks.
Of getting back on to the golf course at Stoke-by-Nayland last Wednesday, she said: “It was good but it did feel weird seeing the drive go forward more than two feet.”
She admitted it is still mentally tough.
“It is hard to motivate yourself when you are not playing for three months and when I practice I am used to focussing on the next tournament,” she said.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
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