Newport's Lauren Hillier claimed the Welsh Ladies Amateur title at the third attempt, triumphing in testing conditions in Wrexham golf club.

Winning the Welsh title was the biggest win so far for the 34-year-old, who had competed in the English Closed Championship and then had to wait to play for Wales with the qualification period being reduced from 10 years to five.

She beat Alice Barnes of West Sussex four and three in the final as a reward for a week of consistent play.

“This is certainly my biggest ever win, it's absolutely brilliant and better than I expected,” said Hillier, who lost in the final last year.

“I just played consistent golf, hitting fairways and greens and concentrating on the next shot. Wrexham is the sort of course that if you can get ahead and keep playing consistently then that puts pressure on your opponent.

“Newport have won the Welsh Ladies Team Championships three of the last four years and I have been part of those teams, so playing match play in that pressure certainly helped coming into these matches.

“I am the mother of a five-year-old so I am certainly kept busy off the course, but this is a big confidence boost and I hope it can push me on to play some really good golf.”

Defending champion Kath O'Connor had topped the scoring from the stroke play stages in tough conditions at Wrexham, with Hillier qualifying for the knockout stages in tied sixth and Barnes in fifth.

Newport's Jordan Ryan beat O'Connor at the quarter-final stage before herself being beaten by Barnes by one hole in the semi-finals, meaning it would not be a final contested between club teammates.

Hillier made smooth progress through the knockout stages beating Yelverton's Caitlin Evans-Brand in the last 16, Ashburnham's Nia Greville in the quarter-finals, and Erewash Valley's Olivia Kelly in the semi-final.

“Congratulations to Lauren, one of our experienced Wales internationals and she used that to good effect to play well all week,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

“Wrexham provided a really good test for the players with windy conditions making scoring difficult, but the course was in superb condition for the event and all the players enjoyed the challenge.”

Posted on 30 May 2017 at 12:00

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