Triple success for Rachel

Rachel Gourley continued her sensational start to the season with victory in her first event alongside the professionals and success in the Scottish Girls’ Open at Irvine Golf Club.

Rachel, 17, added the titles to her wins in the Leveret Trophy and Sunningdale Foursomes already this year.

Competing in the Rose Ladies Series event at Walton Heath – where she won the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship title in 2021 – Rachel closed with four birdies in her final five holes to post a four under-par total and secure a two-shot victory over Sharna Dutrieux.

Still an amateur, and sixth form student, Rachel shone in the elite field of professionals while playing alongside four-time major champion Laura Davies and Solheim Cup legend Trish Johnson.

Following the win at Walton Heath, she said: “It’s an amazing feeling, I still don’t think it’s sunk in properly yet. To say I’ve had my first professional win feels insane to me.

“I’ll come down off cloud nine eventually, but I think it will take a while!

“I was confident going into the event, but I never expected to win. I was just playing for the experience, especially considering who I was playing with.

“Playing with Dame Laura and Trish was amazing and I learned a lot from watching them play.

“I knew I was one shot off the lead on 17 and Dame Laura said to me, ‘make birdie up the last to tie.’ That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t know I had won until I walked off the green and my mum told me.”

Arcot Hall-based Rachel also came out on top in the Scottish Girls at Irvine following an epic dual with Germany’s Philipa Gollan. The pair pulled away from the field early in the second round and reached the 16th hole of the third and final round tied at seven under-par.

The deciding moment came on 17 as Philipa made a double bogey, Rachel’s par giving her a two-shot advantage heading down the last. On 18, she made another par to complete a bogey-free round of 68 and win the event.

Following that win, Rachel said: “I played well all week and knew it was going to be tough with the conditions. I was playing with Philipa, which meant I knew what I was going to have to do. It was just about keeping calm and trying not to make too many mistakes. This win means the world to me; it has been a goal of mine for years to win this event and to have finally done it feels amazing.”

The wins followed Rachel’s victory in The Leveret Trophy at Formby Ladies – with rounds of 72 and 66 for a four under-par total.

Wrapping up her success so far this season, Rachel, who will join Auburn University later this year, added: “Looking back at the first few weeks of the season fills me with so much confidence for the rest of the year.

“To win a national championship and a professional event in the same month is just insane. It’s been the best month of my golfing life so far. I felt confident coming into the season, but I never imagined it would be like this.

“I’ve got my A Level exams coming up before a pretty full on couple of months in the summer with events in the UK and overseas, ahead of heading to the US and Auburn. I’m really looking forward to keeping the run going as long as possible and playing in as many big tournaments as I can.”