Yorkshire golf: Nicola Slater is crowned English girls' champion after Hawkstone Park triumph

Nicola Slater, the new English Under-16 girls' champion.
Nicola Slater, the new English Under-16 girls' champion.

HICKLETON GC'S Nicola Slater is the new English Under-16 girls' champion following an exciting one-shot victory at Hawkstone Park.

Sixteen-year-old Slater, a pupil at Penistone Grammar School, gave herself a commanding lead with a three-under-par 70, added a 73 and then closed with a 77.

It completed a wire-to-wire win as she edged home a shot clear of Surrey’s Annabell Fuller.

The Sheffield Union girls' champion, who also won the White Horse Cup at Frilford Heath last year, currently plays off four.

She has played at Woodsome Hall and Hickleton having taken up the game when she was eight.

"Yesterday was such a relief after holding a five-shot lead as it's quite hard to sustain such a lead overnight," she said..

"I hadn't checked the scores all the way around and it was a definite shock when I found out I had won by a close one shot.

"I really enjoyed the last few days and it has given me confidence for future events and gives me a chance to aim higher now, and hopefully prove I can repeat such scores."

She set up her win with a three-under par 70 when she compiled an impressive 16 pars, one eagle and one birdie.

She was still five ahead at the turn in the final round, but Fuller (Roehampton) narrowed the gap when she charged home in one under for the back nine.

Slater bogeyed the last and, having watched the spectators turn away, thought she was heading for a play-off. “Then I came in and Alan (the organiser) shook my hand and congratulated me. It was a shock," she said.

Slater is a member of England Golf’s Yorkshire Under-16 girls’ regional squad and has found the training has helped her confidence.

She added: “Also, you are in a group and they help you out; on Thursday the other girls were supportive and that adds to the whole experience.”