Great Cornard's Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club-trained Lily May Humphreys looking to end amateur career in style
Were it not for Covid-19 Lily May Humphreys would be getting set to tee off an exciting new chapter in the professional ranks.
But with those plans having had to be put on hold she is hellbent on making the most of her unexpected opportunity for one more season as an amateur.
Last week saw the Stoke-by-Nayland GC-trained 18-year-old, who ended a pandemic hit 2020 by playing in the US Women’s Open, retain her spot in the five player England Women’s team.
It came off the back of being invited back for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and being named in the initial Great Britian & Ireland Curtis Cup team.
Speaking to the Suffolk Free Press and SuffolkNews during some warm weather training in Dubai this week, the current number 20 ranked amateur in the world said: “I’m really happy to be in the England Women’s squad again. It’s always an honour to play for my country and I am privileged to be selected.
“I know the two new selections (Thalia Kirby and Caitlin Whitehead) from when I was in the Girls’ squad and they are both really good players and will strengthen the team this year.”
The key events on the calendarthis year are the European Ladies’ Team Championship at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland in July and the Home Internationals scheduled for Woodhall Spa in August. They will enter the latter as defending champions after Humphreys played her part in the 2019 success at Downfield GC in Dundee.
As well as her summer with England, adding to her list of individual tournament wins – including the English Women’s Amateur and Women’s Open titles in Wales, Scotland and Ireland – is also on her mind.
“I would like another amateur win if competitions are back on this year,” she said. “I’m working on strengthening all aspects of my game.”
Her first major event is set to be the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which is currently scheduled for March 31-April 3. The invitation-only event will see the first two rounds take place at the Champions Retreat Golf Club before the final round at Augusta National itself.
She said: “I’m really excited to get out there again as it was cancelled last year at quite short notice.
“The Curtis Cup has now been rescheduled to September at Conwy in Wales and I’ve been selected for the squad for that, so that should be exciting as well.”
Humphreys, who had started her 2020 campaign in fine style by winning the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes last March, has also welcomed the news that the Clutch Pro Tour is launching an amateur offshoot.
It means that amateur men and women players will get the chance to play against each other this year, with an equal share of prize money up for grabs.
The company’s inaugural Clutch Amateur Tour schedule offers 20 events throughout 2021. It includes £1,500 worth of entries for the 2022 tour, free Clutch memberships for 2022 and a five-night inclusive holiday to Gloria Golf in Turkey.
The tour organisers have also said female competitors will also be able to make the most of “some great game development opportunities on the LET and LPGA”.
Humphreys said: “I played in some of the Clutch Pro Tour last year which was really good as most of the amateur golf competitions were cancelled. It’s good that there is an inclusive tour.”
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