Coulter beats top seed to sail through to last-8 of Girls Amateur

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Coulter beats top seed to sail through to last-8 of Girls Amateur

Beth Coulter (Photo by Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Beth Coulter and Hannah Darling remained on course for another duel at Fulford after progressing to the quarter-finals of the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship.

Coulter saw off the challenge of leading stroke play qualifier, Rachel Gourley, in the last-16 after a 2&1 win, while Scotland’s Darling also eased into the last eight after beating Darcy Harry 6&5.

Darling, boosted by her Curtis Cup selection on Monday, won the inaugural R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Championship at the Yorkshire venue in 2018, capitalising on a late Coulter mistake.

The pair could yet meet in the final at Fulford this week, with Coulter, 17, continuing her solid season after beating Gourley and 13-year-old Roisin Scanlon, the youngest player in the field.

“It was definitely a nice win over Rachel,” said Coulter. “Coming out playing the top seed, all the pressure was on her. I just wanted to come out and play solidly and winning the 1st hole was massive for me. It’s a really tough hole and I felt from there I could keep the pressure on.

“I was three up through nine but Rachel came back and took me to the 17th – it was a great match. The key for me is definitely keeping it in play on the fairway, as I struggled in the stroke play being in a couple of bunkers and trees.

“It’s the furthest I’ve been in this competition and hopefully I can push on. Back in 2018, it was three rounds of stroke play and it’s now great to play knock-out here as it’s a great match play course with the bunkers, rough and trees.”

Darling, 18, has also flourished this summer – including winning the St Rule Trophy – and was not taken past the 14th hole in her two comfortable victories against Harry and, earlier, Faye Wheatley.

Maggie Whitehead, 15, recently crowned English Girls’ Under-16 Open champion, also continued her form to reach the last-eight, defeating her compatriot Patience Rhodes by one hole.

Whitehead now meets Wales’ Gracie Mayo, who beat Ameila Wan 2&1 in the last-16, while Ellen Yates capped her debut appearance in the championship by reaching the quarter-finals thanks to a one-hole triumph over fellow English player Olivia Lee. Lottie Woad, who finished third in stroke playing qualifying, exited in a 5&3 defeat to Olivia Williams in the last-16. Coulter faces Yates at 8am on Friday in the first quarterfinal match.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s interest came to an end in the Boys competition with Charlie Kelly, David Lally, Cian O’Connor and Sean Keeling all beaten in their first rounds matches.

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