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New Zealand's Amelia Garvey runner-up at Women's Amateur

Garvey benefitting from time in US college system (file) (Photo: NZ Golf)
21-year-old New Zealander, Amelia Garvey, has produced the finest performance by a New Zealand amateur golfer since the halcyon days of Lydia Ko when finishing runner-up by a narrow 1 hole margin at the Women's Amateur Championship to England’s Emily Toy at Royal County Down.

Toy, who is ranked 450th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, ended Garvey’s hopes of becoming the first New Zealander since 1986 (Marnie McGuire) to claim the trophy.

“I gave it everything,” said Garvey from Kaipoi north of Christchurch but who now attends the University of Southern California. “I left it all out there which is all I can ask for. I’m really proud of the way I played. It’s been an amazing week.

“Emily played incredibly well, especially down the stretch. She slipped up once on 16 with a three-putt but apart from that she didn’t miss many fairways or make many mistakes.

“I really wanted to win but playing in front of all those people and just getting to the final was a great thrill. This is my best achievement in golf so far and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

The first English player to win the title since Georgia Hall in 2013, Toy has earned a spot in the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn in August thanks to her triumph. 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.

Toy joined a roll of honour that also includes Anna Nordqvist (2008) and Céline Boutier (2015).

 “It’s amazing to win," said the champion. "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.

“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.

“I was ranked about 800 in the world at the start of the year but I’ve been ticking down the rankings, especially after the way I played in Australia. Hopefully, I can come down a few more spots after this week!”

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