17-year-old Amy makes magic finish to win County Championship

COUNTY junior captain Amy Rae produced an astonishing display of golf to clinch her first Cambs and Hunts County Championship last week.

The 17-year-old St Ives Golf Club star took the crown with a three and two win over fellow county junior team-mate Miranda Brain (Gogs) at The Links, Newmarket.

"I wasn't expecting to be even in the final or win at all so I was thoroughly shocked," said a delighted Rae.

"Going into the final, I was quite relaxed about it, as it was an honour to have made it that far and then to win it was amazing.

"There were some tough matches along the way, against some of the other junior girls who are all county first team players as well so, obviously, I was pretty happy to have beaten them."

The qualifying rounds of the three-day event were played in near perfect conditions, but with a tricky breeze, as Rae qualified in 13th place with rounds of 82 and 83 (165).

Sarah Attwood (Gogs) topped the qualifiers with two excellent rounds of 74 and a new course record of 68 for a total of 142, followed by Miranda Brain with rounds of 76 and 73 (149).

Links player Sarah Smith was in third spot with round of 80 and 76 (157).

Then, in the quarter-finals, Rae defeated Chelsey Herbert (Gogs) two and one, whilst Miranda Brain defeated Julie Walter (St Ives) four and three.

Jenny McGuigan (Royston) beat Sarah Attwood one up and Smith gained a two and one win over Tabitha Brain (Gogs).

Rae saw off the challenge of McGuigan in the semi-final, finishing two up and Miranda Brain had a comfortable five and four win over Smith.

The final, played in a blustery wind, proved to be an interesting battle between the two youngsters, both playing in their first senior championship final.

In the first five holes, Rae took the lead twice only for Miranda Brain to break back immediately and, at the turn, Rae had a one-hole lead.

Once again Brain levelled the score with a solid par on the tenth.

Rae then made a significant move with three holes of magic, including a par and two birdies to take a three-hole lead. Brain responded with a birdie on the 15th to reduce the arrears, but Rae sealed a three and two victory when she won the 16th hole to take the title.

Rae then had cause for double celebration afterwards after learning she had been selected to lead Cambs and Hunts at County Match Week being held at King's Lynn Golf Club between June 27 and July 1.