England’s Gemma Clews claimed the best win of her career at the Welsh Ladies Open Amateur Stroke Play – with Welsh golfers Bethan Morris and Jordan Ryan finishing strongly in fifth and sixth.
Clews, from Delamere Forest near Chester, played consistently in tough and windy conditions at Ashburnham, near Llanelli, to tame the classic links course and finish level par to win by five shots.
She became the first English winner of the event since Tour star Charlie Hull in 2011.
Tenby’s Morris had a closing 74 to fly up the leaderboard into fifth place, while Newport’s Ryan had a best-of-the-day final round of 71, matched only by Clews, as she rose up to sixth.
England’s Lianna Bailey, Kirby Muxloe, was second with Scotland’s Hannah McCook, Grantown-on-Spey, in third.
“This is definitely my best win, my first really big win, and victory feels really good,” said Clews, who was in form coming into the event in form after wins in the Comboy Scratch Trophy and Hampshire Rose.
“I just played pretty solidly throughout. The first day was the toughest with the first nine strongly downwind and then the back nine into the wind, you just had to plot your way along.
“The conditions got easier, I controlled my ball pretty well and my short game was good. In the last round I birdied eight, nine and ten to get myself under par. I did not really think about winning, I just played things as I saw them.
“I knew then that if things didn’t work out then at least I had given it my best shot. I knew I was in good form so the only nerves were good nerves, I enjoyed the course even though it was tough.
“I have the Irish, St Rule and the British coming up so it is good to hit some form and this win will give me confidence.”
Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson added, “Congratulations to Gemma for some really good golf to claim the Welsh Open title by a clear margin.
“Ashburnham put on a great event and the course was an excellent challenge for the players, especially with the wind making it a classic test of links golf.
“Bethan and Jordan both finished well to give a strong Welsh presence on the leaderboard which was also good to see.”
Other notable Welsh performances included Newport’s Lauren Hillier in 15th, and Minchinhampton New’s Ffion Tynan tied 16th.