HUDDERSFIELD’S Rochelle Morris had an excellent introduction to the European Ladies Access Tour when she finished in a creditable 26th position in the Crete Open in her first professional event.
And thde 17-year-old left plenty of top-level players in her wake, including Holly Clyburn, Kelly Tidy, Charley Hull and other members of England’s Curtis Cup team as she plotted her way through the very tight and undulating Crete course in Hersonissos – the only golf course on the island.
Rochelle was playing as an amateur, although the majority of entrants were professional, so she was delighted to finish so high up the leader board, closing the tournament on three over par – just seven shots behind the winner, Austria’s Christine Wolf.
She would have been even closer had she not fired her drive out of bounds on the last hole, which forced her to drop two shots.
Her entry in the Crete Ladies Open had come courtesy of being the leading lady in the recent Faldo Series tournament in Ireland.
It was the Faldo Series organisers who arranged not only for Rochelle to enter, but also paid her entry fees, accommodation, air fare and transfers.
"The Faldo people were very good, and really looked after her," said dad Roger, who along with mum Marie accompanied Rochelle on her Crete adventure (although they had to pay!).
"She played really well, and was delighted to finish ahead of some of the Curtis Cup players, and is now looking forward to next year, and another outing on the European Tour"
The Access Tour is the women’s equivalent of the men’s Challenge Tour, and Rochelle’s impressive debut prompted the tournament director to offer her another start in a second European event next year.
And Fixby’s scratch golfer will also be in action in China in March next year, which is part of her prize for winning the Girls title and coming second overall in the Faldo Series final in Ireland.