FORMER Bridlington Golf Club member Rachel Bell earned a career best ninth place finish in the Sanya Ladies Open in China
On her first trip to the country, Bell shot rounds of 71, 67 and 73 for a five-under-par total on Hainan Island.
It was good enough for her first top 10 finish on the Ladies European Tour and marks a welcome change in fortune for the former Yorkshire amateur champion who currently lies 112th in the Order of Merit.
She said “I’m very happy with my performance this week and really enjoyed the experience of playing in the last group in a Ladies European Tour event.
“It feels nice to see my name in the top 10 and it was great walking onto the 17th green and seeing my name on the leaderboard. So far this year, if my name’s been on the leaderboard it’s because it’s the first round and I’m out first and it’s the score after the first three holes.
“I shot one over in the final round which isn’t the score I wanted or deserved, but I’m really happy with my game and it was nice to see it come together in a tournament.”
Former European Tour professional and Welsh coaching supremo, David Llewellyn, has been working with Bell all year to bring consistency to her game
“Little by little things improve every time you go out and play or practice and finally it’s showing in my scores during a competition,” said Bell.
“I’m happy because I’m hitting the ball great and I’m hitting the ball close enough to give myself birdie chances.
“This week I was out in the last group and the more times I get up there, the more experience I gain and the better my chance of winning.”
Next up is the second and final event in the China leg of the Ladies European Tour, the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open, where Bell will be up against world number one and British Open winner Yani Tseng.
Bell said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in the same competition as Yani because it’s good to play against players who are at the top of their game because you can learn so much from them.”