2019 has been very good to English native Lily May Humphreys so far. The 17-year-old had a 5th place finish in March at the Italian International Ladies Amateur Championship followed by an appearance in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur the following month. In May, she had back-to-back wins in the Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship and the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship. She then secured a solo second finish just a few weeks later at the English Women’s Amateur Championship. Making her first ANNIKA Invitational appearance, she entered the week at the ANNIKA Invitational Europe ready to play. Humphreys stayed atop the leaderboard through all three rounds, carding only one bogey in her first 32 holes. Entering the final round with a 3-shot lead, Humphreys kept her ground and claimed the title.
We spoke to Lily May a few weeks after her win in Sweden. Here’s what the 2019 Champ had to say about her golf career so far and life off the course.
What is one place that you want to go that you have never been before?
Australia because the wildlife is so different to anything I have ever seen before. It has nice weather and beaches and I’d love to play on some of the courses there.
Who is your favorite golfer?
Phil Mickelson – he doesn’t always do things by the book which makes it exciting and unpredictable to watch.
What are your top three goals for 2019?
I have already achieved two of my goals for 2019 but I’ve now added 2 new ones!!
Play in the Ping Junior Solheim Cup Team
Get in the top ten WAGR
Win another event
How and at what age did you start playing golf?
My older brother took me to TopGolf when I was 9 and I really liked it so I started to have lessons there. I joined a golf club when I was 10 and started with a 44 handicap. I was a 5 handicap at 11.
What is one thing that surprises people about you?
Some people say they are surprised at how chatty I am when I play.
Congratulations on your recent win at the ANNIKA Invitational Europe. Tell us about your feelings heading into the final round after leading the first two rounds. How did you stay calm and focused through your final round?
I just concentrated on one shot at a time and tried not worry what anyone else was doing as that was out of my control. I tried to make the birdies when I got the opportunities and not drop silly shots when it got close on the back nine.
Is fitness a big part of your training and practice throughout the season? If so, what do you focus on the most to help improve your game?
It’s not really a big focus of mine during the season. I concentrate on my fitness more in the off season then fit it in when I can during the season. I try to eat healthy and always warm up before I play and practice. I do stretch exercises at home and at the hotel when I’m away.
How do you spend your free time outside of golf?
Seeing friends and family. I’m away so much I really enjoy just being at home with my family and my cat.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
My dad because he spends all his time helping me to achieve my dream. He’s with me nearly every day when I practice and takes me to all the competitions when I’m not travelling with a team squad.
What is your favorite golf tournament you have played in so far and why?
The Youth Olympics because it wasn’t just a golf tournament, it was all sports. I met a lot of athletes from all different sports and it was really cool to watch them compete and see how different the training and way of life is for them compared to mine as a golfer.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
You don’t have to have the best technique to be good at putting. I tried to make my putting technically correct but it didn’t work for me and then someone said this to me and I went back to putting without worrying too much about technique and now putting is one of my strengths.
What is one thing that you can’t live without?
My cat and chocolate – sorry that’s two things!!
When you are practicing on your own, how long does a typical practice last? What are you focus points?
I usually go to the practice area in the morning and do chipping and putting for an hour or so. Then I hit balls on the range for another hour. In the afternoon I will go to the practice hole and hit shots into the green and do bunker shots.
What would you say is your favorite part about playing of golf?
The friends I have made and that I get to see them at nearly every tournament. We have lots of fun on and off the golf course.
What life lessons, if any, has golf taught you throughout the years you have been playing?
You have to work hard to achieve your goals and don’t give up if you don’t get there as quickly as you want. Success doesn’t come easy!!
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring female golfers who are just starting to play the game?
Work hard, play in lots of competitions and make friends along the way. Most important thing is to have fun.
With her junior record looking like it does, it seems that only success awaits Lily May’s future. She plans to opt out of college and turn professional after graduating high school. When asked what she is most looking forward to, she said “I’m looking forward to the challenge to see how well I can compete on the professional circuit.” We also look forward to watching Lily May compete in the future and wish her the best of luck!