|Isabella and Max are Welsh Amateur champions
Isabella Hopkins won the Women’s Welsh Amateur for the second time, while Max Weaver won his first Men’s Amateur, both held in Newport Golf Club.
Bristol and Clifton’s Hopkins won her first title at the age of 16, but found it a very different experience lifting it again a couple of years later just a few days before heading to college in America.Weaver, from Bury St Edmunds, is entering the final year of his university studies in England, but rated winning the Welsh Amateur title as his biggest win yet.
Hopkins was up against experienced former winner Lauren Hillier, on home ground in the final, but was able to come through 4&3. Her route to the final was full of former champions and fellow Wales internationals as she beat Kath O’Connor, Carys Worby, and Gracie Mayo in the match play stages.O’Connor, West Byfleet, had the consolation of beating Millie Cottrell, Wentworth, to win the Valentine Plate for those knocked out at the last 16 stage.
“This feels a little bit different, I have had a rocky season to be fair so it is nice to win this,” said Hopkins.
“The key was being quite strategic, keeping my head in the game and battling the elements. I did not see this coming, I did not play so well in the stroke play.
“It was really good to come through, I knew playing the likes of Kath and Gracie that I had some tough competition and that brought out the best in my game
“I think it makes winning this time more special. It was great to win two years ago and then I was not able to play last year – they say you cannot beat the first time, but it is nice when you do.
“It was my last event here for a while before I head to America to start university in Jacksonville, doing golf and exercise science, I am really looking forward to that.
“Winning this gives me more confidence going out there that I can get a good start and carry on this form.”
Weaver was able to overcome Welshpool’s Tomi Bowen in the final, leading after the first 18 holes and staying ahead to win 2&1 on the 35th hole.
“It feels really good, it was a nice achievement to get it over the line this week,” said the 20-year-old. “I didn’t quite have my best stuff in the stroke play, but turned it on going down stretch in the match play stages.
“I had a couple of tough matches where I had to grind out a win after being down through nine holes, today I was up after 18 and hit a good shot to within two feet on 16 to go two up with two to play.
“I drove the ball well off the tee, Newport is a great match play course, you can be silly aggressive in some spots, while you have to defend in others. You always had a feeling that a good shot could turn things round.
“This is the most prestigious event I have won. I won the Aberconwy Trophy in North Wales, so it is good to get a win in South Wales as well. Next up is an invite to play a professional event at Slaley Hall on the Clutch Pro Tour, so I am looking forward to that.”
Wales Golf Competitions Manager Christian Askins said, “Congratulations to Isabella and Max for battling their opponents and also the weather.
“There was plenty of superb golf played despite the conditions, which were challenging at times with play suspended for a while during the finals.
“Also thanks to staff and volunteers at Newport who worked hard to make the event run so smoothly despite the obvious challenges.”