Lily May Humphreys rounded off an outstanding year as she made history by becoming the first English player to win the girls’ title at the Junior Orange Bowl International in Florida. The 15-year-old, who made the top 10 shortlist of SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award in 2017, won by a clear nine shots as she scored nine-under par across 72 holes at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Miami.
“This is very big for me because I came over just to experience what it’s like to play on American courses,” Lily – who has been receiving support from the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation - told the Suffolk Free Press. “To win this is just amazing for me. It’s definitely been a year to remember. I didn’t think I’d be able to top 2016 but I have! I’ll just have to try to do the same in 2018.”
Lily added the Junior Orange Bowl to a trophy cabinet which already contains titles from the EGA European Young Masters Championships, the English Women’s Amateur Championships, the Girls British Open Amateur Championships and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters (Under-18s) – all of which were won in 2017. She was making her first visit to the USA for the Junior Orange Bowl.
She was at the top of the leaderboard throughout the tournament and shared first place after her first round of two-under before storming to victory with 67, 66 and 73. Her third round score of 66 was the lowest recorded during the girls’ championships and put her way out in front of the field. Lily adds her name to a list of former champions including Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
Fellow SportsAid athlete Annabell Fuller, a recipient of help through myLotto24’s Winners of Tomorrow scheme, finished in 20th after rounds of 75, 76, 76 and 75. Annabell is the English Girls’ Under-16s champion and has joined Lily in being named in the initial 14 player Great Britain and Ireland squad for the prestigious 2018 Curtis Cup match against the United States.