Alderley Edge’s Isobel Wardle will collect her GCSE results like every other Year 11 student this week, but the Cheadle Hulme pupil will do so knowing that, whatever happens, she has had the best summer of her budding golf career.
The 16-year-old, one of Britain’s most promising youngsters, has enjoyed a fine summer after reaching the final of the British Girls tournament at Royal St David’s and finishing tied fifth in the English Girls at The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club.
Wardle narrowly missed out to Italian Emilie Paltrinieri in the match play competition at Royal St David’s earlier this month, where the top 64 qualifiers go head-to-head in a knock-out format until two finalists meet.
But she admits it has been the best season she has had as she now prepares for the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship later this month.
“It was a fantastic achievement to get to the final of the British Girls. It is the best golf I have ever played in my life, it was very consistent and it got better and better throughout the week,” said Wardle.
“I got on a roll and in match play that is crucial, I was closing out matches early.
“My aim was to get as far as I could, as you don’t always know how it will go with match play. You can play well but the other person can be amazing and you’re out.
“I played well in the final. We got to the ninth all square but then I made a bogey and so I went one down, but then Emilie went crazy and started knocking in everything.
“It has been a while since an English girl got to the final so that was great. I had lots of support from everyone, it was a great tournament.
“I have been playing good golf and putting myself into contention so often this season. I am full of confidence.”
Wardle is also part of the SSE Next Generation Programme, which gives support to 100 of the best up-and-coming young British and Irish athletes from a variety of sports on their way to the top.
And the Prestbury Golf Club member is now preparing to get back to education, after a tough year of combining golf with studying for her GCSEs.
“It was hard at the beginning of the golf season, and I had to put it to one side for the exams – which I hope went well,” she said ahead of Thursday’s results.
“I got four A*, four As and one B in my mocks so I hope it ends up something like that but you never know. I have to settle back into college in September but still work hard at the golf.
“I now have a bit of time to rest. I have watched some of the Olympics and that has only made me more determined to get back out there – representing Team GB is a big goal for the future.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen.
Image courtesy of United Sport USA Golf via YouTube with thanks.