Ellie searching for some Turkish delight

Back in the swing: Ellie Givens returns to action next week

Back in the swing: Ellie Givens returns to action next week

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Football/Golf Writer

AFTER six weeks trying to recapture the magic in her swing, Ellie Givens will return to the Ladies European Tour scene refreshed and with memories of her finest professional performance in mind.

It was at this stage 12 months ago when Givens turned in four solid rounds of golf to claim tied sixth spot at the Turkish Airlines Open to give her a timely boost at the start of a second season on the Tour.

When she lands in Antalya on Monday she will hope the sight of the National Golf Club will spur on to a repeat performance, although she is not a great believer in playing a particular way on specific courses.

“That was my strongest placing I have had, so it would be nice to replicate that - even do better. We will see,” said Givens.

“I have had mixed results on different courses, so it doesn’t always work out for me that I’m better here or there. Even if I did enjoy playing out there the last time, I just have to focus on this time around.

“I can still be confident whether I have played well on a course before or not, so it’s about focusing on my game and trying to do well. I am looking forward to it and hopefully I will have some nice sunshine – and another hole-in-one would be nice!”

That ace arrived at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters when she started the year by playing in New Zealand and Australia. She said: “It was a six iron on a Par 3. It bounced a couple of times.

“All of the girls I was playing with were telling me it had gone in but nobody was celebrating, so I didn’t believe it. It was a nice feeling. It was my first one, crazy when I think I have been playing for 18 years and I had never got one.”

Unfortunately that hole-in-one was part of a second round 77 and she missed the cut. The Darlington golfer has also failed to make the weekend’s play at the World Ladies Championship and the Lalla Meryem Cup in Agadir, Morocco, on her last outing.

Since returning to the North-East in mid-April she has had an extended break and feels like the work she has put in at Rockliffe Hall should benefit her in Turkey.

Given, 25, said: “I am trying to get my game back to where I have been before. I want to take the game I have now in to tournament mode. I am confident. The standard is stronger at this level than it has been ever before and that is pushing everybody to become better golfers.

“I was a little erratic in the first few events, so I have been working with a couple of things on my swing, and I have known that needed ironing out. To have that consistency and control over my game is nice, hopefully that will be the case out in Turkey.”

Regardless of how well things go in Turkey, Givens will have another week at home before heading over to Amsterdam for the Deloitte Ladies Open before heading to Slovakia for the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open presented by Respect on June 19.

There are plenty of earnings up for grabs on the Order of Merit and she knows a strong finish would be nice after a stuttering start to the year.

“I have not played as well as I would have liked to,” said Givens. “I have been working on my long game in the last couple of weeks because there has been a decent gap and hopefully it will pay off.

“There is a lot of travelling involved to go Down Under like I did, so that can take its toll on how you perform, especially when you have never travelled that far like me. I’m not too concerned about the first few events. You have ups and downs and it’s about staying positive.”

She was part of the team to recently launch the English Senior Open’s return to Rockliffe Hall, where she is attached. The event will be heading for County Durham again on August 22 and Givens thinks it is the ideal way to showcase what the complex has to offer.

She said: “I enjoyed it last year. I had never been to a golf event before until last year, which is incredible really. It’s good to be able to show off just how good it is here.

“It’s great really because it gives people an opportunity. There is a lot of interest in golf around here, so it’s great for people to come here and show people what it is all about. For me this course deserves all the positive praise it gets.”

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