The R&A - Working for Golf

Seven of the top eight seeds beaten at Dundonald

It was slaughter in the sun as seven to the top eight seeds perished on a very warm, almost windless day for the first two match-play rounds in the Ladies' British Open Amateur championship at the exposed Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland.gu

Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell), the World No 2 female amateur, started the uprising of the "lesser" qualifiers - she herself qualified last of 64 from the 36-hole stroke-play eliminator, by toppling the No 1 seed Leslie Cloots from Antwerp, Belgium by 3 and 2 in the morning.

By the end of the day, Maguire, 21, with twin Lisa, also a student at Duke University, as her caddie, had cruised into the last 16, to be joined by Meghan MacLaren (21) from Wellingborough, another Curtis Cup stalwart, but Bronte Law (Bramhall and UCLA), who won all five of her ties at Dun Laoghaire and was elevated to World No 3 female amateur this week, and Olivia Mehaffey (Royal Co Down Ladies), winner of 3.5pt from the USA and No 8 in the world, were stopped in their tracks.

Law, winner of the English title for the past two years, lost by 4 and 3 to unheralded Dutch player, Dewi Webber, who was three up by the turn, and Mehaffey went down at the 19th to the only US Curtis Cup player to stay on for this championship, World No 14 Monica Vaughn (Arizona State University) from Oregon.

Vaughn, two up on Mehaffey after nine, was pulled back to all square but won through at the 19th with a knee-knocker of 4ft putt for a winning par. Other top eight seeds now on the sidelnes are Sweden's Amanda Linner, Frida Kinhult and Beatrice Wallin and Spain's Ainhoa Olarra.

Leona Maguire admitted at lunchtime that she had played only as well as she had to to beat Leslie Cloots 3 and 2. But it was a different story with the warm sun on her back in the afternoon.

"I played very well to beat Anais Meyssonnier by 4 and 3 with roughly four or five-under figures," said Leona.

"I birdied the third and fifth before losing the short sixth to a birdie. Then I birdied the eighth, ninth and 11th to go four up and we halved the remaining holes."

Is she worried that she is on course for a quarter-final showdown with Spanish wonder girl, 18-year-old Maria Parra, the world No 4, who won her two Thursday ties by 7 and 6, and 6 and 4 and is obviously playing very well.

"Not at all. I am just taking one match at a time. I have to beat a Swiss girl to reach the last eight so I am focused on that Friday morning match. It doesn't pay you to look too far ahead in a match-play tournament."

Leona Maguire drive match-play
Leona Maguire drive match-play

Parra's third-round opponent is England's is Isobel Wardle from Prestbury, Cheshire who won her ties by one hole and 2 and 1 respectively. There is more than one "wonder girl" in the last 16 - Julia Engstrom (Sweden), at 15 years and a month or so, she is the youngest player in the field and, at No 4, she is the highest surviving seed.

She beat Scotland's Germany-based Rachael Taylor 2 and 1 in the second round.

Meghan MacLaren also knocked out a Scot, Hannah McCook from Grantown on Spey by 3 and 1 after beng one up at the turn.

Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), who had been three up after nine, eventually beat New Zealand's Chantelle Cassidy at the 25th hole - the longest match-play tie in the history of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship.

American Curtis Cup player Monica Vaughn, who knocked out No 2 seed Olivia Mehaffey at the 19th in the first round, was a 2 and 1 winner in the second against France's Shannon Aubert.

Monica was four up after nine holes and now plays another American, Ohio State student Jessica Porvasnik.