17-Year-Old Amateur Wins Professional Event At Walton Health

Teenage starlet Rachel Gourley was victorious at Walton Heath in the Rose Ladies Series

Rachel Gourley poses with Rose Ladies Series trophy
(Image credit: Rose Ladies Series)

Teenage golfing sensation, Rachel Gourley, continued her impressive 2022 season with victory in the Rose Ladies Series at Walton Health. Gourley closed with four birdies in her final five holes to secure a two shot victory from fellow competitor, Sharna Dutrieux. 

Playing alongside golfing royalty in Dame Laura Davies and Trish Johnson, who have amassed twenty Solheim Cup appearances between them, the 17-year-old secured her first professional victory despite being an amateur.

Speaking with Golf Monthly, Gourley said: "It's an amazing feeling, I still don't think it's sunk in properly yet. To say I've had my first professional win feels insane to me.

"I have been in good form so I was quite confident going into the event however, I never expected to win. I was just playing for the experience, especially considering who I was playing with!"

The Arcot Hall member continued: "Playing with Dame Laura and Trish Johnson was an amazing experience. I was nervous on the first tee but after a few holes, I settled into it and learned a lot from watching them play.

"I knew I was one shot behind the leader on 17 and Dame Laura said to me, 'make birdie up the last to tie.' So that's exactly what I did. I didn't know I had won until I was off the green and my mum told me. I thought the putt I holed was to get into a playoff."

As Gourley's 2022 season continues to go from strength to strength, she remains firmly focussed on her academic studies: "I have one event left before I take my A Levels so there's a bit of a break in my competitive season however, after my exams, I have a tight schedule until I head to Auburn University. I can't wait to go!"

Rachel Gourley poses with Laura Davies and Trish Johnson

(Image credit: Rose Ladies Series)

Gourley first tasted success in 2022 when she teamed up with fellow England Golf member, Lottie Woad, at the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes. The only all-female pair proved their strength by reaching the final before a convincing 6&5 victory over Jimmy Ruth and Paul Hendriksen.

She continued her fine form at the Formby Leveret in April where rounds of 72 & 66 earned a one shot victory from Flora Keites before adding the Scottish Girls Open to her already impressive resume. A flawless final round 68 held off the threat of Germany's Philipa Gollan as Gourley claimed her first national open crown.

Gourley, who also took top spot in the 2021 Justin Rose Junior Telegraph Trophy, holds a +5.6 handicap index and has committed to Auburn University from August 2022.

Rachel Gourley top of the backswing position

(Image credit: Rose Ladies Series)
James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.