Olivia goes Stateside

Hamilton is heading to college in America

Yorkshire teenager Olivia Hamilton is looking forward to the challenge of playing on the US collegiate golf circuit.

The 17-year-old was in an upbeat mood despite finishing bottom of an elite field in her final appearance as a junior at the 2016 Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

Hamilton was making a second appearance in the prestigious event but admitted afterwards that her preparations for the Algarve tournament had been far from ideal.

She arrived in Portugal shortly after a two-week break in Mexico and was not surprised by her scores of 81, 76 and 85, which left her 22 strokes behind winner Hannah Screen.

Hamilton, who plays out of Bradford, said: “It’s always a great week and I’ve enjoyed it again. I just got back from two weeks holiday in Mexico before playing Quinta do Lago, so I did okay considering.

“I’ve got a lot of golf coming up in the next four years as I’m off to the College of Charleston next August.

“The Telegraph BMW event has been really good preparation for life on the senior circuit. It’s such a great competition week but it’s also about meeting and playing against other great golfers. I will never forget this experience.”

Meanwhile namesake Olivia Winning will be part of the England women’s squad which starts its 2017 campaign on Florida’s Orange Blossom Tour. The 21-year-old Rotherham golfer will join Louisa Brunt, Gemma Clews, Sophie Lamb and Georgia Price to play in the Harder Hall Invitational January 4-7.

The tournament is one of five events which make up the Orange Blossom Tour and past champions include Charley Hull in 2012.

During the 2016 season the England women’s successes included the European Team Championship, the European Amateur, the British Strokeplay Championship, the Scottish Strokeplay, the Women’s Home Internationals and a key contribution to the GB&I Curtis Cup victory.

Winning claimed the Helen Holm Scottish Strokeplay title for the second time, and won European and Home International events.