Emily Toy Cornwall's youngest ever ladies' golf champion
FIFTEEN-year-old Penryn schoolgirl Emily Toy was crowned the youngest ever Cornwall Ladies' county champion after defeating former holder Rachael Lloyd-Phillips on her home course at the last hole of a thrilling final at Tehidy Park on Sunday.
The teenager, who plays her golf at Carlyon Bay, holed a 20 foot putt on the final green to take the title in front of a large crowd.
Her victory surpassed the feat of current England international Sarah-Jane Boyd, who also won the county championship for the first time at the age of 15, but was six months older than Emily when she did so.
And the 21-year-old from Truro, who could not defend her title this year because of her commitments with the England squad, was one of the first to congratulate the youngster from Longdowns.
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She wrote on Facebook: "You must have had a great week beating my record – well done!"
Emily's victory was made all the more remarkable as she only took up golf six years ago at the age of nine when her grandfather Andrew Varney asked her to join him for a round at Budock Vean where he was a member.
Emily's father, the former Falmouth Town goalkeeper and ex Falmouth Athletic player-boss Kevin Toy, said: "She took to the game very quickly under junior organiser Tim Searle and was soon being coached by PGA professional John Rule.
"She first played for Cornwall girls at the age of 12 and graduated on to play for the full Cornwall team for the first time last year."
Emily, who has also represented the county at badminton, decided to concentrate her sporting talents on golf last year and 18 months ago switched to Carlyon Bay where there was already a strong girls' section.
She became a member of the England Birdie squad and is now coached by Katie Rule, John's daughter and a three time county finalist before she turned professional at St Enodoc.
In the meantime John gave up his professional status and was therefore eligible to caddy for Emily in Sunday's final.
Emily paid tribute to both John and Katie Rule at the presentation ceremony.
Under their guidance her golfing talent has continued to blossom and every Saturday she goes to Merlin for training with them.
Her father Kevin said: "We don't know what Emily will decide to do in golf yet as she's still very young and won't be taking her GCSEs until next year.
"At the moment she favours wanting to be a golf coach, but it's early days yet so we'll have to wait and see."