Mid Herts Golf Club pro Lucy Williams is set to take her career to a new level after qualifying for the US Women’s Open at the first attempt.
Williams, who is based at the Wheathampstead club, drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole at The Buckinghamshire to secure a top eight finish and a place alongside the world’s best golfers at the legendary Pinehurst No. 2 course in North Carolina.
The 24-year-old, who is the reigning Glenmuir WPGA Champion, endured an anxious two-hour wait before her slot in the showpiece was finally confirmed.
"It all feels pretty insane," she said. "I can’t believe I’m going to be playing in my first major, it’s really exciting.
"It’s the first time they’ve held a European qualifier, and it was over a course I know quite well too so I was hopeful that I would be able to qualify."
After two solid rounds, Williams bogeyed the 16th hole and approached the 18th knowing only a birdie would keep her dreams of qualification alive.
"I knew I was going to need at least level-par to stand any chance of qualifying, but I hit my tee shot at the last hole slightly short and ended up having to make quite a tricky putt," she explained.
"It was such a great feeling to see it drop in, although the wait to see whether I had qualified was very stressful.
"I was just sat there watching the scores come in and gradually I noticed that people were dropping shots. In the end I was relieved more than anything that my score was enough."
Williams is currently in the middle of her debut year on the Ladies European Tour, and will visit Holland for the Deloitte Ladies Open before heading to North Carolina in June.
Yet despite the success of recent years she remains level-headed, and will travel to Pinehurst with dad David, a former European Tour player himself, on the bag.
"My dad will be caddying for me over at Pinehurst and it will be great to have him there, particularly after all the support he has given me over the years," she said.
"I’d like to do well there and make the cut, but obviously as it’s my first time playing at that level I will be going there trying to enjoy it.
"I’ve got lots of events coming up after the US Open so hopefully this will be the start of a really good year for me."