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England's Hall Begins 2013 No. 4 In The World

by Colin Callander - January 8, 2013

England’s Georgia Hall starts the 2013 season in fourth place on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking after an incredible 2012 season during which she won the British Girls’ Championship, was runner-up in the English Women’s Championship and helped her country win both the Women’s and Girls’ Home Internationals.

The 16-year-old Hall, from Remedy Oak Golf Club in Dorset, goes into the new campaign with just New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Australia’s Minjee Lee and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini ahead of her on the Ranking and leading an eight-strong European contingent within the top 20 on the list.

Women’s amateur golf used to be dominated by the Americans but the centre of power has started to shift with just three US players featured in the top 20 of the season starting WWAGR alongside three Australians, two English girls, two South Africans, two Germans and one player apiece from New Zealand, Swaziland, France, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Thailand and Korea.

World No. 4 Georgia Hall

Hall goes into the 2013 season at the head of an impressive group of European players comprising France’s Celine Boutier (No. 7), England’s Bronte Law (8), Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow (10), Spain’s Camilla Hedberg (13), Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen (14) and Germans Karolin Lampert (17) and Quirine Eijkenboom (20). Ireland’s Leona Maguire (23), Sweden’s Linnea Strom (37), Spain’s Clara Baena (38), Wales’ Chloe Williams (43) and Spain’s Ha Rang Lee (45) also start the season within the top 50. That list would have been even more extensive but for the fact Emily Taylor, Holly Clyburn and Charley Hull have turned professional and earned cards at the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco.

The 18-year-old Taylor, the 2012 English Girls’ champion from Lancashire, was one of the stand-out performers at the LET Q-School. She started her qualifying campaign by leading her Pre-Qualifying event on 17-under par and maintained that form throughout Final Qualifying, posting rounds of 69, 66, 68, 67 and 71 to finish tied second, five shots behind Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn, whose elder sister, Moriya, had tied for first place at the LPGA Q-School a couple of weeks before.

Further down the list, Curtis Cup player Clyburn finished tied 25th to wrap up full playing privileges for the 2013 season, but teenager Hull slipped out of the all important top 30 with a closing 76, good enough only for conditional Category 9b status. Nevertheless, her father, Dave, has conirmed she has turned professional.

“Charley is now a Tour member,” he confirmed by text last week. “She’s looking forward to the season ahead.”

Hall is one six English teenagers to be selected for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, to be played Jan. 16-20 at Twin Creeks Golf Club, Sydney.

Hall will be joined in Team GB by compatriots Jack Singh Brar, Gabriella Cowley, Amber Ratcliffe, Ashton Turner and Harry Ellis, together with the Scottish trio of Bradley Neil, Ewan Scott and Lauren Taylor, and Chloe Williams from Wales.

They are the first GB golfers to represent their country under the Olympic banner since the 1900 Olympic Games and will compete in boys’ and girls’ events and in a team championship against the likes of Argentina, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.

Team GB is to be led by Tegwen Matthews, the victorious GB&I captain at last year’s Curtis Cup at Nairn.

Rhys Pugh and Amy Boulden have been announced as joint winners of the Welsh Amateur Golfer of the Year Award for 2012. It is the second year in succession the pair has received this accolade and follows a successful season during which Pugh won the European Amateur and Boulden claimed several prestigious titles, including the Welsh Ladies’ Close Championship and the Helen Holm Trophy, and also played a prominent role in GB&I’s victory in the Curtis Cup.

Welshpool won the country’s Club of the Year accolade from a shortlist including Langland Bay, Pennard, Pontypool and Trefloyne.

Two of England’s most promising young players tasted victory across the Atlantic during the recent festive season.

Patrick Kelly, the 2012 Carris Trophy winner, pulled off a major coup when he won the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl Championship in Florida by 13 shots after posting rounds of 65, 68, 66 and 66. His performance was all the more impressive because he was battling conjunctivitis and persistent nosebleeds and at one stage looked as if he was going to have to pull out of the event.

Surrey teenager Samantha Fuller provided England’s other Stateside successes during the period. The 13-year-old from Roehampton won her age group for a third time in the Honda Junior Classic and then claimed both the Under-14 division and the overall girls’ prize at the PARS Florida International Junior Championship. It was the sixth year in succession she has won a prize at that event.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s elite squad concluded their recent warm-weather training in Abu Dhabi by beating the UAE national team by 7-0 in an international match at Yas Links. Aberdour’s Scott Crichton won by 6 and 5, Alva’s Lawrence Allan posted a 5-and-4 victory while the other five games all ended with Fraser McKenna (Balmore), James White (Lundin), Adam Dunton (McDonald), Conor O’Neil (Pollok) and Ross Bell (Downield) winning by 4 and 3.

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