Woodsome Hall’s Rochelle Morris set to break into England’s top 10

Woodsome Hall's Rochelle Morris.
Woodsome Hall's Rochelle Morris.
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WOODSOME HALL’S Rochelle Morris appears to be moving ever closer to winning an English women’s title.

Last month in the English women’s amateur championship at Hunstanton she came within 16 shots.

On Thursday in the English women’s open stroke play at St Annes Old Links the margin was down to 15 feet.

Morris finished runner-up in both events and while Bramall’s Bronte Law ran away with matters at Hunstanton, Cornwall’s Sammie Giles had to hole a 15ft putt on the final green at St Annes Old Links to deny last year’s Yorkshire champion a play-off.

The 20-year-old’s target at the start of the season was to force her way into the England women’s squad and her performance in Lancashire should see her break into the top 10 of the AscotGolf.com’s order of merit.

“I know the selectors were watching me at most stages in the last two [of four] rounds at St Annes and it does put a bit of pressure on as I really want to play in the England squad,” said Morris.

“But I tried just to stay focused on what I was doing. I think they decide on the squad in September and hopefully the way I have been playing will be good enough to earn selection.”

Morris shot rounds of 72 73 73 72, consistency which is highlighted by forensic examination of her four cards which shows she never succumbed to a double bogey or worse at any of the 72 holes - a tremendous achievement on a tough links course in windy conditions.

“It was windy pretty much every day and the wind kept changing direction each day,” she said.

“On the last day in the morning it was wet as well and it was a bit miserable, so it was tough, but I enjoyed myself.”

The last two holes at St Annes are both par-5s - the 17th is 467 yards and the 18th 504.

“My dad Roger and me thought we probably needed to finish eagle-birdie,” she said and their judgment was proved correct for her birdie-birdie culmination left her one shy.

Hers and Giles’s second shots finished so close to one another at the 18th that Morris had to mark hers to allow her opponent to play.

“I don’t know if it was nerves, but she mis-hit her chip and it came up about 15 feet short and I thought perhaps there was a chance I could get a play-off, but she holed her putt,” reflected Morris, who will spend next week practising ahead of the Ladies’ British open stroke play championship to be played at Moortown from August 19-21.

Another eye-catching performance there could well seal her place in England’s side for the Home Internationals, which Royal Wimbledon will stage from September 9-11.