Hannah’s report is written in her own words and it’s worth reading to the very end. She was fully committed to play in FQ; and it’s one of life’s lessons that no matter how bad your round is, how poorly you’re playing, how bad the weather is – it’s those people who can dig deep and pull through who gain our respect. Well done Hannah for getting this far!

“Having battled through Pre-Qualifying, I was really looking forward to playing in Final Qualifying at Ashridge.

However, that joy turned to despair when I was diagnosed with Pleurisy and Costochondritis on Thursday and Saturday, having gone to A&E.

I was given antibiotics and strong painkillers and anyone who knows me, is aware that I’m pretty determined and somewhat stubborn…!

I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to play in FQ but I wanted to leave it to the last minute to make a final decision.

Sunday’s practice round turned in to a course planner session with my caddy, a good friend from Cowdray, in my hotel room.   The one thing we could control was being as prepared as possible.

Monday morning I was still in pain but we headed to the golf club and then to the driving range.  I had to work out a new way of swinging which would cause as little extra pain as possible. I started with a shank and a few fat and thins but then I got a feel for what I could manage and actually struck some lovely shots.
The woods were OK which was important, as were the bunker shots. Putting, although even when I’m fit, caused as much pain!

I turned to my caddy and said “let’s give it a go”.

We made our way to the 1st tee with me knowing that realistically I wouldn’t qualify (a score, to me, wasn’t what this round was about) but as a professional golfer, competing is everything to me.  The course looked beautiful, the sun was shining and it was another chance to learn and gain experience.  I have played through pain before but this was to be different…

It’s amazing how adrenaline and routine kicks in as the 1st tee driver swing was more aggressive than when I was warming up!  I so nearly started with a birdie!

Without missing a couple of short putts, a 3 putt and a pulled approach… my front 9 would have been respectable.  My breathing wasn’t so good but I played holes 10-14 in 2 under par.  Then the pain really started and I hit a couple of loose shots towards the end.

Some people may question why I played in this condition, but deep down I knew that I’d earned the right to play that round. So I did.  I had mentally accepted the possible outcome and always enjoy a challenge.

Yes, I am suffering today but I have no regrets…”

Hannah Ralph