Fresh from breaking the ladies course record at Newton Green Golf Club, Alice Barlow is hoping to impress again when she makes her debut in the English Women’s Amateur Championship next week.
The reigning back-to-back Suffolk Ladies’ Matchplay champion, from Great Cornard, is set to make her first appearance in the event, which gets underway at Lindrick Golf Club on Tuesday.
Barlow will be among 114 of the best female amateur golfers from across the country in action in the 72-hole stroke play championship in south Yorkshire next week, and her target is to make the cut for the final day on Thursday.
“It’s my first year playing in the English Ladies Amateur next week and I’m hoping I can make the cut,” said the teenager, whose home club is now at Hintlesham, but she still often plays at Newton Green.
In fact, it was only this past weekend that Barlow was back at Newton Green and smashing her own records again.
Barlow was in fine form as she regained the Club Championship for the third successive year, and broke the ladies course record set by her on the way to a landslide victory.
The previous record set in May by Barlow was a three-under par round of 68, but on Saturday she bettered it by two strokes with a five-under par round of 66.
The record-breaking round included seven birdies, and the youngster followed it up in the afternoon with a round of 66 that also featured seven birdies.
“I am over the moon with the way I played, especially as I had to pull out of two national competitions the previous week with an elbow injury and had to play with a support on it,” she said.
“It also means that I have lowered my handicap, down to scratch, which is what I have always wanted to achieve. It feels really good to get down to scratch and, now I’m there, I just want to keep it there and keep going.”
Last year Barlow finished tied-eighth in the English Girls’ Under-18s Amateur Championship, seven shots behind the winner Cloe Frankish, but had made an impression with an opening round of 71 to be joint-top of the leaderboard after the first day.
This year she makes the step up to the English Women’s Amateur Championship, an event which has been running since 1953.
Cornwall’s Sammie Giles won the tournament last year but will not be attempting to defend the title next week having now turned professional.
It means there will be a new name on the trophy this year, with Barlow set to tee-off for her first round at 2.20pm on Tuesday, alongside Ellie Brown (Barnham Broom) and Hannah Holden (Lightcliffe).
Barlow will then return the following day for her second round with Brown and Holden at an earlier start time of 10.30am on Wednesday.
Following the first two rounds, the leading 40 players and ties on the leaderboard will make the cut and play a further 36 holes on Thursday, when the new champion will be crowned.