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Britain's Alice Hewson praises golf's reaction to coronavirus outbreak

Britain's Alice Hewson praises golf's reaction to coronavirus outbreak

Alice Hewson is as entitled as any athlete to feel frustration at the sporting shutdown.

The 22-year-old British golfer is the last player to celebrate victory on one of the leading professional circuits after winning the South African Open on 14 March.

But Hewson has been denied the opportunity to build any momentum from that win. She should have followed up her maiden victory, which came in her first Ladies European Tour appearance, by playing a $1m LET tournament in Saudi Arabia last week.

But the coronavirus outbreak puts paid to top level sport and Hewson is back home in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. Fortunately she is blessed with a healthy outlook and appreciation of what is happening in the wider world.

"Yes it is frustrating," she told BBC Sport. "But I know we are all doing this for the right reason.

"It's all for the greater good of the whole world really. Italy is really struggling and so any measures that we can take as a whole country, I think, will be beneficial in the long run and that's what is important.

"The LET has shown that by cancelling all its events, it knows that the health of its players and their families are what is most important."

Everyone was sat a comfortable two metres apart inside the clubhouse.
Alice Hewson

Since returning Hewson has been cramming in as much practice at Berkhamsted Golf Club as possible in a bid to retain the form that brought such a remarkable start to her professional career. 

"The range is hit your own golf balls and it's out of the way a little bit so I've been able to continue practicing as I would," she said. "I've been trying to do as much as I can before we go into a full lockdown."

Hewson won €30,000 (£27,850) with her triumph at Westlake in Cape Town. When the season resumes the money will provide vital funds for the start of what promises to be an exciting professional career.

"I don't have any sponsors or any financial support," she revealed. "So to be able to get some money under my belt at the start of the season at least means that I know I can afford a couple of months worth of golf."

The LET and the feeder Symetra Tour in the United States are where Hewson is planning to compete and find a potential route to the relative riches of the LPGA.

"The fact that I'm based over here and in America as well, the costs really do add up quickly, so to secure some money means that I'm able to play in a few more events," she said. 

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