Hannah Darling fought off a late comeback from Beth Coulter to continue her superb summer and win the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship at Fulford.
The 18-year-old from Edinburgh began the week with selection to the Great Britain and Ireland team for this month’s Curtis Cup and ended it in style by defeating Ireland’s Coulter by two holes to become the first Scot to win the prestigious crown since Clare Queen 20 years ago.
Over the last couple of months, Darling has won the St Rule Trophy, finished runner-up at the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship and reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Amateur Championship and the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship.
Darling beat Coulter at the same Fulford venue to win the R&A’s Girls’ under-16 title back in 2018 and she got the better of her friendly rival again yesterday
The Scot was three-up after 13 holes of the 18-hole showdown but Coulter rallied and won the 14th and 16th to reduce the deficit.
Darling held her nerve, though, and safely found the par-5 18th in two while Coulter found trouble in the trees.
Her win gives her a spot in final qualifying for next week’s AIG Women’s Open as well as exemptions for next year’s Women’s Amateur Championship, the US Girls’ Junior Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
“It’s amazing to win at Fulford again,” said Darling. “I honestly can’t believe it. Against Beth, the story couldn’t be better. I really did think it might be her time today after three years ago but I’m obviously very grateful to win it. The names on the trophy are so good.”
After West Kilbride’s Louise Duncan won the Women’s Amateur Championship earlier this season, Darling’s win means Scotland has the senior and junior champions for the first time since Catriona Matthew and Mhairi McKay won the women’s and girls’ titles respectively in 1993.
Meanwhile, hopes of more Scottish success in the Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports were dashed as Niall Shiels Donegan and Daniel Bullen both lost their respective semi-finals.