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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kelly Tidy, on the green at the par-5 18th in two, rolls her eagle putt close to the hole to clinch victory over Sophia Popov at Monifieth today (Cal Carson Golf Agency image, all rights reserved). You can enlarge the images by clicking on them).

Sophia Popov (Germany) pitches her third shot to the green at the par-5 18th in the quarter-final match against Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale). Cal Carson Golf Agency image (all rights reserved)

Kelly gives Tidy performance to
reach last four once again

Manchester's Kelly Tidy, a beaten finalist in the British girls open amateur championship last year, staged a great fightback to reach the last four at Monifieth Links today.
Also through to Friday morning's semi-finals are the No 1 seed, Laura Gonzalez-Escallon from Belgium, Israel's Laetitia Beck, the No 5 qualifier, and Mandy Goyos from Spain, 58th of the 64 qualifiers for the match-play stages. .
Royal Birkdale member Kelly, the sixth seed, beat Sophia Popov (Germany) on the last green after being three down on the fifth tee - Sophia having birdied the first and fourth.
"I was three down for most of the way it seemed," said Kelly later. "I think we halved every hole from the fifth to the 11th which is where I got a hole back with a par."
Tidy, pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency (all rights reserved), still only 16, began to play really well under pressure. She won the short 13th with a cast-iron 3 while Popov was short.
Then Tidy birdied the 15th with a 12ft putt to square the exciting contest. On a roll, she then birdied the 16th with a seven-wood, an eight-iron and a 4ft putt to lead for the first time.
The England girl international had a chance to win the tie on the 17th green but missed a 4ft putt. Then Tidy played a great long iron second on to the green at 513yd 18th while Popov required three shots to get on.
Tidy rolled her putt close and was conceded victory.
In the second semi-final, Kelly will play Mandy Goyos from La Coruna, Spain.
Mandy was the biggest winner of the last four, achieving a 7 and 6 result against Charlotte Lorentzen (Denmark) who had knocked out the No 2 seed Ana Fernandez de Mesa (Spain) in the morning quarter-finals.
Mandy, whose father is Spanish but her mother Angela (Ball) comes from Lancashire, took a grip on the quarter-final by winning five of the first seven holes.
The first semi-final will feature Laura Gonzalez-Escallon from Brussels - her father is Colombian and her mother Belgian - and beaten the 16-year-old Florida-based Israeli women's champion Laetitia Beck who is a member at the Caesarea golf club which has only nine holes and is the only golf club in the country.
Laura was two under par in the 4 and 3 morning win over Scottish international curler Eve Muirhead and she was two under par again in winning by 4 and 2 in the afternoon against Sweden's Louise Larsson.
"I reached the quarter-finals in this championship last year, which I think was my best ever golfing achievement. Now I have bettered that," said Gonzalez-Escallon who was only one up at the turn but doubled that advantage at the 10th.
Laetitia Beck beat Johanna Tillstrom of Sweden by 3 and 2 after winning the second and third but losing the fifth.
"I missed a short putt at the ninth and was lucky to get a half at the 10th but a birdie at the 13th was very important for me," said Beck who is a residential student at the IMG David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Florida alongwith Curtis Cup Scot Sally Watson.