Alice Hewson’s professional career couldn’t have started any better.
The 22-year-old from Hemel Hempstead in England won the Investec South African Women’s Open on her first start as a rookie member of the Ladies European Tour at Westlake Golf Club on Saturday, coming from three strokes behind the overnight leader, Olivia Cowan, to win by a shot.
“I couldn’t have hoped for a better start. It feels absolutely incredible and it really is a dream come true. Growing up as a kid, all I could ever dream of was playing on the Ladies European Tour and to come and win my first event, the feeling is indescribable,” said Hewson, Who turned professional in September and finished fifth at LET Q-School in January.
“This has definitely happened a lot quicker than I thought it would. I was hoping to get off to a nice steady start, but this is definitely a good thing!”
Hewson made a great start to the final round when she birdied the first hole and although she bogeyed the third, she clawed another shot back on the fourth hole, moving to five-under-par.
She entered a four-way share of the lead after nine holes and then took the sole advantage after the three players in the final group bogeyed the 10th hole.
She bogeyed the 11th to drop into a share of the lead but then broke away from the pack with a birdie on the long 13th hole.
Although she finished with five consecutive pars, she found trouble under the trees right of the fairway on 18 and her second shot hit some branches, causing the ball to drop back down, but she played an incredible chip shot up to the green and then holed a seven fooddrink.jpgddrink.jpgt putt for a 71 to finish on five-under-par, a stroke ahead of Monique Smit from South Africa.
“The 18th was a bit of a highlight because I was in a bit of trouble off the tee and still in trouble after my third shot and I think another highlight would be the par-5 13th, because I made a solid birdie,” said Hewson, adding: “Most of the week my putting has been very good, and my driving. I just went out there to play my own game. This golf course can play pretty tough and it’s going to give some shots back to you so I tried to keep my game super steady and make some birdies.”