Lea-Anne holds nerve to take title on Monty’s course at Celtic Manor

A 12-year-old girl from Abergele has followed in the footsteps of golfing greats to win at Wales’s legendary Ryder Cup venue, Celtic Manor.

Little Lea-Anne Bramwell, a Year Seven pupil at Howells School, Denbigh, clinched a dramatic final green triumph in the final of the Welsh Mini Masters tournament.

After a ding-dong battle Lea-Anne, who plays at Abergele Golf Club, arrived at the ninth and final hole level with her opponent in the strokeplay final but she unleashed a glorious three-wood to 12 feet, just missed her birdie putt but tapped in for a par-three and a two-shot win.

Lea-Anne’s mum and dad and her sister, Amy-Jane, also a pupil at Howells School, all play at Abergele where Lea-Anne has a 28-handicap and she had her dad, Jason, who plays off 12 on the bag for her in the final.

She said: “It was great to have dad there. He knows the game and was able to give me some advice and encouragement so it was a team effort.

“I hit a really good shot at the last hole and my opponent was in trouble and took two to get on and three-putted.”

The final was held over a shortened nine holes of the Montgomerie course at Celtic Manor, the magnificent golf resort near Newport, in Gwent, which memorably hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.

The Montgomerie course was designed by Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and the final produced a similarly nerve-shredding finish.

Monty’s bunkers caused Lea-Anne some early problems in the final and she fell two shots behind.

She fought back though, watched by a contingent of family and friends and with two holes to play was one ahead before her opponent holed a raking putt on the eighth to level the match.

But it was Lea-Anne who held her nerve on the final hole to come out on top and take the trophy: “It was really good,” she said: “Dad was a big help and was really good at choosing the right club for me to hit.”

The final was the culmination of a lengthy qualifying process with both Bramwell sisters entering the competition which aims to encourage young golfers in Wales in the wake of the successful Ryder Cup

Lea-Anne and Amy-Jane both played in the first qualifying round held at Penmaenmawr Golf Club and both won through to the regional final at St. Melyd Golf Club, near Prestatyn.

There Lea-Anne came out on top with Amy-Jane a close second but with only one going through to the final.

Howells School Academic Principal Emma Jones said: “We’re delighted for Lea-Anne. She showed a lot of skill and determination to win and to hold her nerve on that last hole was tremendous.

“Golf is a very difficult game and there must have been a lot of tension, especially playing somewhere like Celtic Manor, and it must have been a great experience for her and for her family.”

The talented sisters are not just good at golf though. Earlier this year they celebrated double success at the Chester Drama Festival where Amy-Jane gained a first prize and Lea-Anne a second.

As well as golf Lea-Anne loves horse riding and enjoys Mathematics while Amy-Jane is studying A-levels in Chemistry, Biology and Physics at Howells School and would like to be a pharmacist.

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