Women's British Open: 'Dream come true' for Wales' Chloe Williams

By Chloë DellBBC Sport Wales
Chloe Williams is 26th on the Ladies European Tour order of merit
Chloe Williams is 26th on the Ladies European Tour order of merit

Welsh golfer Chloe Williams says making her first major appearance at this week's Women's British Open will be a "dream come true".

Williams, 26, will take on women's golf biggest names when the tournament starts at Carnoustie on Thursday.

Williams, from Wrexham, has qualified through her position in the Ladies European Tour (LET) order of merit after a strong start to the season.

"From a young age, I've always wanted to play in the British Open," she said.

"Like every player we work extremely hard - [there is] blood, sweat and tears all the time throughout your journey for any athlete in any sport to get to your ultimate dream.

"I've had chances to get in and final qualifying I've done probably four or five times now. I've always fallen short by one or two shots and that's really difficult to take, but it only makes you stronger to work harder and try to get there for the next year.

"I was completely shocked and just overwhelmed with different emotions, but now I'm here and played the Scottish [Open] last week, it was a great week.

"It's the highest stage I've ever played on, alongside the world's best, and it's just really a dream come true. I'm just soaking it all up because it's a lot to take in."

The Women's Open is one of five majors in women's golf, with Carnoustie hosting the event for the second time.

"The last couple of days I've been over there practising and it's just unbelievable, everything is surreal really to be honest," added Williams, who has been doing her best to soak up knowledge from experienced players this week.

"It's my first time being around these people, I'm just literally asking loads of questions.

"The first practice there I played with two Americans [Alison Lee and Amy Olson] who are winners on the LPGA Tour and I was asking them questions - 'how would you see this shot, how would you play this hole' - and just learning from them and taking it all in.

"It's awesome to play alongside them, it really, really is."

Chloe Williams competing at the Rose Ladies Series at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club
Chloe Williams competing at the Rose Ladies Series at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club

Williams will be the sole Welsh representative at the Open and is relishing the opportunity to fly the flag on the world stage.

"I know we're a small country and it is hard to have a number of us, but on a weekly basis on the LET there are four or five all the time and it's really sad to not have them here with me because we all support one another and we always cheer each other on," Williams said.

"I could see all the country flags and I said to my dad it hit me at that moment - I was on my own this week I'm flying that flag solely."

Williams will be supported by friends and family who have made the trip to Scotland to watch her major debut, while she is coached by her father Paul.

"I've always said I appreciate how hard and tough it must be for him because he wants me to do so well, I know he's proud of me," Williams told BBC Sport Wales.

"We work really well as a team. He's always been there for me, he guides me in the right direction. He's always been supportive and without him, alongside my work and my sponsors, I wouldn't be here because you need everything to be able to get to where you are today.

"I'm very grateful for everything and all my other friends and family at home. There's been numerous messages - my phone's been non-stop."

Although it will be her first taste of major golf, Williams is keen to do herself justice on the big stage.

She will have the honour of being in the first group out on the course on Thursday morning, when she tees off at 06:30 BST alongside Scotland's Kelsey Macdonald and American Sarah Schmelzel.

"You wouldn't be human if you didn't want to do well because of course you do," she said.

"I am going to enjoy every second of it because that's the most important thing, but I really do want to get down to the nitty gritty and do myself proud and my family.

"Hopefully the golf will just take care of itself, there is no high expectation I just really want to enjoy it."

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