Emily Toy emulates Georgia Hall win at Women's Amateur
By Sarah Wilmore
Last Updated: 15/06/19 10:43pm
Emily Toy narrowly beat New Zealand's Amelia Garvey in a thrilling 18-hole final to win the 116th Women's Amateur at Royal County Down.
The experienced links player, who hails from Carlyon Bay in Cornwall, shot 78 (+5) and 71 (-2) in the stroke play to qualify 18th for the match play where one of her most impressive wins was over Linn Grant, ranked 25th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, in the semi-final.
Toy who appears lower down the rankings at 450th, ended Garvey's attempt to become the first New Zealander to win the tournament since 1986.
In a close final, Garvey went ahead to 1up at the fifth after Toy made one of only three bogeys for the round. However, the Exeter University student immediately bounced back with a birdie at the sixth following an excellent approach shot.
The next five holes included a mix of pars and bogeys, which meant Garvey was back to 1up through 11 holes.
However, the 19-year-old Kiwi then faltered at the 14th where a bogey took the match back to all-square. Toy then missed a good opportunity to take the lead at the 16th where she three-putted for bogey to halve the hole.
A 20-foot putt for birdie on the 17th soon made up for the previous hole as Toy took the lead, and then secured a par on the last for victory to join a roll of honour that also includes Anna Nordqvist (2008) and Celine Boutier (2015).
Toy commented: "It's amazing to win. I played solidly all week. I stayed in the moment in the final and handled my nerves. I really struggled this morning off the tee but I found the fairways this afternoon which gave me the chances. My putting was also really solid from long distance.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
"I went to Australia in January and won the New South Wales stroke play qualifying but given it was a match play tournament it didn't really feel like a win. I've been hunting a win down and been playing quite nicely this year so to do it here is amazing."
The last English player to win the title was Georgia Hall in 2013, who Toy will compete alongside in August after earning a place in the AIG Women's British Open at Woburn.
The Cornish golfer had already been thinking ahead to the tournament: "I was saying to my parents last week I've got to do the qualifying for the AIG Women's British Open but I'm in now, so how cool is that?"
The 2017 R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament champion has also gained exemptions into the 2019 Evian Championship, as well as the US Women's Open and the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship next year.
The entry into these tournaments is clearly overwhelming for Toy: "It's amazing to have these major opportunities now. I look forward to a couple of days of rest and then it will all sink in."
In the semi-final, Toy was 2down after three to Grant, but fought back to lead 1up after 10 holes and never looked back, eventually winning by two holes on the 18th after an excellent approach.
Garvey was also grappling in her semi-final match against Daniella Barrett, and was 2down after four holes. However, she clawed back to lead after six holes, and kept going to win 3 & 1.
The Pam Barton Memorial Salver was awarded to Toy with runner-up Garvey receiving The Diana Fishwick Cup. Italy took the international team award for the stroke play qualifying rounds with an aggregate score of 296.
The 117th Women's Amateur Championship will be played at Kilmarnock (Barassie) from 23-27 June 2020.