England's Charlotte Heath Claims Smyth Salver At AIG Women’s Open

Heath saw off Julia Lopez Ramirez on the final day to join an illustrious list of former winners

Charlotte Heath stares on
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With a name like Charlotte Heath, perhaps the young Englishwoman was always destined to do well at Walton Heath. However, Heath insisted she was pleasantly surprised to win the Smyth Salver, which is awarded to the leading amateur at the AIG Women’s Open for 2023.  

Beginning the event, there were 10 amateurs but, thanks to her seven-over-par total of 295, it was good enough to beat Julia Lopez Ramirez of Spain by five strokes. 

The 21-year-old is the first English player to win the Smyth Salver since Sophie Lamb in 2017 at Kingsbarns, with Heath following in the footsteps of Rose Zhang, who won it last year. Other previous winners include Michelle Wie West, Anna Nordqvist, Lydia Ko and Georgia Hall.

Following her win, Heath reflected: “There's some incredible names on the Smyth Salver. It is definitely kind of not what I expected at the start of the week, but very happy with it. It's certainly a bonus. I've learned so much from the pros, how they play compared to amateurs. 

“I think they play a lot smarter and more sensible. They know when to take risks and when to hold back. Sometimes as an amateur you don't really think about that because if you come fourth or 10th it really doesn't matter that much, whereas if you're playing for money, there's a big difference. I think that's something to definitely follow going forwards."

Charlotte Heath en-route to the silver medal at the AIG Women's Open

Charlotte Heath en-route to the silver medal at the AIG Women's Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Heath qualified as the leading British & Irish player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. A Curtis Cup player in 2021 and 2022, she sits inside the WAGR Top 10 and has also performed impressively for Florida State University.

Now she plans to return to America for the new college season, but will have a crack at qualifying school as well. Asked about her immediate plans, Heath replied: “Packing, I guess, going to America so have to sort out my suitcases.”

James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a long-time member. James’ golfing highlights include previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out there. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society but his favourite round is playing the game with his young children. James is currently playing:  Driver: Ping G400 3 wood: Ping i20 Hybrid: Ping i20 Irons: Ping i500 4-SW Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56 Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Ball: Titleist ProVIx