Annabell Fuller hoping to follow in sister's footsteps

Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championships: Roehampton Club's Annabell Fuller hoping to follow in sister Sammy's footsteps

Article: The Telegraph, Wednesday 13th July 2016

The Fuller household just continues to fill up with accolades. Rapidly following in the footsteps of 2013 Telegraph BMW Junior runner-up Sammy Fuller is younger sister Annabell, whose stunning summer - via a stint as a Wimbledon ball girl - is likely to culminate in a debut appearance at our November finals in the Algarve.

It has already been some year for the Roehampton Club member. Five second-place finishes, including three play-off defeats, were cast aside as she won the prestigious Henry Cooper Junior Masters in Kent by an eye-catching 13 strokes.

The Telegraph qualifying round during the event saw her -5 gross score at Nizels top the leaderboard for the Finals at Quinta do Lago in early November.

The Londoner's superb consistency in 2016 has been further rewarded too: she is now England's top-ranked under-18 player. Quite remarkable for a 14-year-old.

'There was no way I was coming second again,' Fuller said of her Henry Cooper win. 'It was a big relief. I had waited for so long and I did it in front of my whole family.'

Before her triumph, she had come agonisingly close at events such as the Scottish under-18 Girls, at the final hole, and Frilford Heath Salver. But she kept plugging away in practice and knew it would pay off.

'Annabell is extremely self motivated and headstrong, she has her own ideas on how to improve,' said Ashley Fuller, the girls' father.

After months of patience had culminated with victory, Annabell then set her mind on a different sport. She led a team of six ball girls at the All England Club and hopes that her 11 days of work at the tennis will pay off on the golf course.

'You don't realise the amount of concentration needed every day,' she admitted of her hour stints on court, which included overseeing the Bryan brothers, the American doubles' specialists. 'It really helped and has now given me that extra focus.'

Ashley continued: 'Coming second five straight times made her even more determined to succeed and also being in the shadow of her older sister has given her tremendous drive.

'Annabell has made a huge improvement over the last six months which has seen her fly up the rankings, and her handicap drop from 4 to +1, making future competitions against her sister extremely interesting!

'The girls are both very competitive but are totally behind each other and always root for each other when they are playing.'

This could be realised at the Telegraph finals where Fuller now hopes to go one better than her sister Sammy, who finished behind Alice Hewson in 2013 and has been making headlines ever since.

However Sammy has endured a torrid year. Struck down by tonsillitis and glandular fever in the last six months, she hopes to join Annabell in Portugal if she can regain her fitness.

'Sammy still calls it her favourite tournament,' Annabell admitted of our long-running finals, first played in 1985.

Euphemie Rhodes, of Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, sits well placed in second place behind Fuller following a -3 score during the Scottish Girls. Meanwhile, former finalists Olivia Hamilton, above, and Louisa Brunt are currently in the top nine.

Telegraph Junior Ch'ships news, interviews and galleries

There is still time to enter this year's boys' and girls' finals, with qualifying ending in September. If you don't see your club on the list on the Where to Play page, check if they are holding a qualifying event. Alternatively, why not contact our hotline to find out more about how clubs can stage qualifying events.

This year's 54-hole strokeplay event will be played between Oct 31-Nov 5 on the North Course at the world-renowned Quinta do Lago. The 21 finalists will play in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Meanwhile, 2015 girls' champion Olivia Mehaffey will take part in the Ricoh British Open later this month. The Northern Ireland star won the LGU Order of Merit title last year and earned full exemption for the British Open in the process, which starts on July 28.

Follow the latest news, leaderboards and build-up to November's Finals on Twitter @TELEGRAPHJunior

Article from The Telegraph, Wednesday 13th July

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