Girls go close at English open

Caitlin Whitehead and Jess Baker pushed champion Marie Bechtold right to the end at the English Girls’ Open Amateur Championship at Gog Magog Golf Club.

Caitlin, 16, from Carus Green Golf Club, finished one shot behind Marie on four under-par with rounds of 71, 75, 71 and 67.

Meanwhile Jess, from Gosforth Park Ladies Golf Club, leapt through the field to finish in third place, posting two rounds of 66 after just making the cut with rounds of 81 and 72.

Marie was seven shots in front of Caitlin and nine ahead of Jess after opening with rounds of 71, 71 and 68 but in the end needed a birdie on the penultimate hole to regain the lead before going on to par the last to card a 73 and finish one shot ahead of Caitlin on five under-par.

Jess, 16, shared third place with Germany’s Chiara Horder and France’s Pyrene Delample on three under-par.

Marie, 18, becomes the second successive German to lift the trophy after Celina Sattelkau became the first overseas winner of the championship 12 months ago at East Devon.

Following the runner-up finish, which comes on the back of a busy exam period, Caitlin, who hit a pitching wedge to three inches on the final hole of the tournament for a closing birdie, said: “That was a great way to finish. I’ve been sitting my GCSEs so I was pleased to play so well. I played well all week and my approach play was very good.

“To be honest, I had no idea how close it was at the end,” she added. “I saw the leaderboard on the 14th and at that time Celina was seven under and I was three under, so I thought I was fighting for second place. It has been a very good tournament for me and one that gets me in shape for the Girls’ Home Internationals.”

Caitlin and Jess will team up with Whitley Bay Golf Club’s Rosie Belsham for the Girls Home Internationals at Downfield Golf Club, Scotland later this month.