HUGGAN: English wave in the foreground

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Bronte Law in action at the 2019 ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open.

Watch out golf. The English do not come alone, they have also arrived. Like it or not, on both sides of the split of the race the flag of St. George is proud of almost every level of the game. Take last year. During the Ladies European Tour, 14 English women were among the top 100 of the winners. That sounds pretty good until a quick scan of the equivalent European Tour list reveals 26 Englishmen in the number 100 on the "Race to Dubai".

The current world ranking list tells a similar story. There are four English women in the top-61 players on the planet – and ten men. It is a remarkable success that has already reverberated in this ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in The Grange. Halfway through the second round, the lowest scores of the tournament were both played by English women – Jodi Ewart-Shadoff's first day 65 and 66 (coupled with Nelly Korda, which is a mix of Czech and American, but certainly not English) with which Charley Hull followed her opening 75.

At least partly responsible for all of the above is the former Walker Cup captain, Nigel Edwards. Since 2011, the Welshman has been the director of golf at England Golf.

"We have a truly focused program, especially when they come to national level," he says. "We send players around the world and use our funds very diligently, but that is only the end product of what we do, from below we try to create something that is both inspiring and ambitious, for example we have something that the & # 39; A-squadron & # 39; is called, and that is between the development selections and the national squadrons.because there are so many players coming through the clubs and provinces, it is otherwise easy to miss some of them.The A-team closes an opening. "

However, it is not just about the amateur game. Support is also given to novice tour players of both sexes through the England Golf Give-back Agreement. & # 39; Last year money went to the English Challenge Tour event – the Bridgestone challenge. In exchange, the English got seven starts on the Challenge Tour and amateurs played in the Bridgestone. The Ladies European Tour Access Series also received a cash boost. Through these players received invitations for LET events and Access to events. "In this way we try to bridge the gap between the amateurs and pro-games," says Edwards.

The end result is that English players in the late teens become increasingly mature in golf experience. Because they are so well prepared in amateur golf, their period of adaptation to the professional game is shorter.

"English golf as a whole is currently in a very strong place", two-time English Amateur Amateur champion Bronte Law agrees. "It's no surprise, England Golf has a really good system going on, so it was just a matter of time before that generation came through, and it will continue, it's really cool to see some of the girls I grew up with and to do well as professionals. "

In fact, someone who has made steady progress as a professional is the law itself. After obtaining her LPGA card at the qualifying school 2016, the now 23-year-old from Stockport – a close observer of the ladies' game calls her "the second arrival of Suzann Pettersen" – missed only three cuts in 17 starts en route to finish 93th on the money list. Last year those numbers improved. Law was the 41st best earner on the LPGA, where she recorded five top tens, won over $ 500,000 and missed only three parts in 25 starts.

The first signs are that these stats will be further improved in 2019. Although her Friday 72 was unable to match the fireworks of an opening 67, Law was not at all discouraged at the end of a day when the birdieputts that fell around changed a series of entries for par 24 hours later.

"It was a little frustrating," she admitted. "I never really started, I made good birds, but there were some hard pegs out there, and I had a few three-putts, so there were some unforced mistakes, but I probably played, if not better, than Yesterday, but we all have days like that, and when they happen, it's all about staying in the round and in the tournament, I'm still there and I hope to be able to build on that at the weekend. "

Hull was even more cheerful after a bogey-free 66 marked by six birdies.

"It was a good score," she felt. "And I did not dig in a lot of wells, I just closed it and took the holes I had to make, which was unlike yesterday when I missed some putts.That was the difference, I do not have the crazy little ones today. missed. "

That will have to go on at the weekend. And not just for Hull. The English may have arrived in the broadest sense, but they have a number of chases in the next few days – five are below par – when the Patricia Bridges Bowl will make the long journey to Blighty.

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