Hew­son stamps mark on Rose Se­ries Grand Fi­nal

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By James Cor­ri­gan

Alice Hew­son made head­lines around the globe in March by not only win­ning her first tour­na­ment as a pro­fes­sional on the Ladies Euro­pean Tour, but do­ing it at the South African Open, the last big­time event con­tested in the sport be­fore the lock­down.

And now, the 22-year-old rookie from Hert­ford­shire is threat­en­ing to leave the star names in her shade once again af­ter tak­ing a com­mand­ing lead af­ter the first round of the three-day Com­puta­cen­ter Grand Fi­nal of the Rose Ladies Se­ries.

Af­ter miss­ing the first green at North Hants, the Fleet lay­out where Justin Rose learnt to play as a ju­nior, Hew­son hit the next 17 greens in suc­ces­sion. It was a re­mark­able bo­gey­less dis­play in windy con­di­tions and her dom­i­nance was writ­ten all over the score­board as the only player un­der par.

With a four-un­der 66, Hew­son is four clear of her near­est pur­suers – Kent’s Sian Evans and Aus­tralian Whit­ney Hil­lier – with an­other stroke back to Liz Young and Inci Mehmet in fourth, and a group on two-over, in­clud­ing Ge­or­gia Hall and Charley Hull.

“I just played very solidly and struck the ball re­ally well,” Hew­son said. “It’s funny, but I played here five years ago in the Hamp­shire Hog [the elite ama­teur event] and re­mem­bered you should play sen­si­bly and lay up short of the greens and al­low it to bounce on. I know I’m quite a few clear, but all I’m go­ing to do is stick to my game plan and play fair­ways and greens.”

Even with dou­ble points on of­fer, Hew­son can­not quite top the Amer­i­can Golf Or­der of Merit, which comes with a £20,000 bonus for the win­ner. Hall and Hull are the top two in the stand­ings, with the lat­ter know­ing that should she win the tour­na­ment proper, then Hall will not be able to stop her scoop­ing the bounty.

How­ever, nei­ther will be sat­is­fied with their 72s, re­gard­less of the sever­ity of the test. Hull was one­un­der af­ter five, but then the world

No25 failed up to pick up a sin­gle birdie with three bo­geys on the sixth, ninth and 17th. In con­trast, Hall had a poor start drop­ping two shots in the first three holes, be­fore bat­tling back to level par – and then bo­gey­ing the last two holes.

The sec­ond round will be played to­day at The Berk­shire, be­fore Went­worth’s West Course hosts the first pro­fes­sional women’s tour­na­ment of its 94-year ex­is­tence.

In­spired: Alice Hew­son chips out of a bunker dur­ing her su­perb round of 66

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