The R&A - Working for Golf

Isobel Wardle sweeps into last 16 with six under par figures

Cheshire's Isobel Wardle, 16-year-old Prestbury GC member, was in brilliant form as she and 14-year-old England compatriot Lily-May Humphryes reached Friday morning's third round of the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship on a rather wet day - until late afternoon - at Royal St David's Golf Club, Harlech in North Wales. Isobel was an astonishing six under par - an eagle and four birdies - in winning her second-round tie by 6 and 5 against Cecillie Finne-Ipsen (Denmark).

"I played in this championship for the first time at West Kilbride last year and qualified for the match-play but got knocked out in the first round, so I've topped that performance already, whatever happens tomorrow," said Isobel who qualified this week as the No 8 seed with rounds of 71 and 73, which would have made a difference to England's team of three total had she been selected.

"I played well in the stroke and even better today in the two match-play ties, which is something you hope for in a big event like this but it doesn't always happen," said Wardle who beat Ireland's Niamh McSherry by 3 and 2 in the morning round when it was really wet.

Wardle won the third with a birdie, the fifth with an 8ft birdie putt and the sixth with a 20ft birdie putt. "I lost the eight but it was to an eagle from Cecillie. But I was three up at the turn with a birdie 2 at the ninth." She parred the 10th to go four up and then produced an eagle 3 at the 12th (437yd) - drive, four-iron and 25ft putt - to go five up, finishing the match with a winning par at the 13th.

Isobel now plays last year's beaten finalist, Spain's Marta Perez Sanm artin, in the round of the last 16 with a placed in the afternoon quarter-finals at stake.

Sanmartin was a two-hole winner in the second round against the last Scottish player in the tournament, Dubai-based Alison Muirhead, whose father is a Scot.

Muirhead lost by two holes after a tight match that was all square at the turn before Marta won the 10th for a one-hole lead which she maintained until she won the 18th to clinch victory.

Lily-May Humphreys (Channels), only 14 years old, beat Margaux Appart (Belgium) 4 and 2 in the first round, then Caterina Don (Italy) by 2 and 1.

Lily-May was two up at the turn against Caterina who rallied to square the game by winning two of the next four holes. But the English player from the Chelmsford club was not going to let a chance to reach the last 16 slip through her fingers. She re-established a two-hole lead to win on the 17th green.

Lily-May now plays the Swedish "giant-killer," Sara Kjeliker, last of the 64 qualifiers and only by a card countback that went down to the last few holes of her second round, toppled the No 1 seed in the morning, compatriot Amanda Linner, by 2 and 1.

Lily-May Humphreys
Lily-May Humphreys

On paper Kjeliker should not have had a chance but match-play can be so unpredictable. Sara was two up after 10 holes and was never headed after that.

Kjeliker beat Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale) by 3 and 2 in the second round. The tie was all square after nine and 10 holes. Then the Swedish girl made the move that would prove decisive. She won the 11th, 12th and 13th for a three-hole lead that ended the match on the 16th green.

The third and fourth seeds, Julia Engstrom (Sweden) and Spain's Paul Neira, won twice to justify their rating. Engstrom, 15, youngest ever winner of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship at Dundonald Links in June and No. 23 in the World Rankings, was taken to the 18th in the morning before beating the 62nd qualifier, Emma Spitz (Austria) by two holes.

But Julia gave a more polished performance in the afternoon, beating Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer) by 5 and 4. Three up at the turn, the Swede won the 10th and was five up after 13 holes.

Engstrom now plays one of the biggest winners of the day, Germany's Esther Henseleit who won by 7 and 6 in the second round against Linn Grant (Sweden), daughter of a Scottish born professional.

Paula Neira won by 4 and 2 in the second round against Sammy Fuller (Roehampton) who had won by one hole in the morning against Aline Krauter (Germany). Sammy was one down through holes nine and 10 in the afternoon but had slipped to two down by the 14th tee. Her Spanish opponent finished the stronger to double her lead and finish the contest on the 16th green.

Fifth seed Beatrice Wallin (Sweden), who reached the third round last year, claimed her place in the last 16 this time round by beating Letizia Bagnoli (Italy) by one hole in a nip-and-tuck match in which there was seldom more than a hole in it.

Beatrice now plays Alessia Nobilio (Italy). Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), a 3 and 2 winner in the morning rain, lost by 4 and 3 in the second round to Denmark's Sophie Nielsen. The Dane had a two-hole advantage through the ninth and 10th and had increased that to three holes by the 14th tee.

Another English challenger who lost in the second round was Annabel Bailey (Kirby Muxloe) who beat the No 7 seed, Puk Thomsen from Denmark, 3 and 1 in the morning.

After lunch Annabel lost by 2 and 1 to Italy's Emilie Paltrinieri by 2 and 1.

Bailey led by one hole and the turn and then won the 10th but her opponent suddenly hit form with gains at the 11th, 12th and 13th to turn a two-hole deficit into a one hole lead on the 14th tee. Paltrinieri kept it up to go two up, winning on the 17th green.

No 2 seed Madelene Stavnar (Norway) survived in one of the last matches to finish. She had a ding dong struggle with Julie McCarthy, the Irish Under-18 champion. All square after 18, Stavnar was able to win with a bogey 5 at the 19th, McCarthy, like so many before her, finding trouble at this deceptively difficult hole. So after 48 matches, there are still five of the top eight seeds standing - Stavnar, Engstrom, Neira, Wallin and Wardle.


Top seed Amanda Linner, 15, was beaten by a 17-year-old Swedish compatriot, Sara Kjeliker, the last of the 64 qualifiers, when the match-play stages of the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship began in very wet conditions at Royal St David's Golf Club, Harlech in North Wales this morning.

By the end of the first round, three of the top eight seeds had been beaten - Linner, No 6 Ivanna Samu (South Africa) and No 7 Puk Thomsen (Denmark) - Amanda Linner is ranked No 269 in the World and No 20 in Sweden while her conqueror is ranked in neither so this result will be a shock to golf followers in Sweden as well as those at the competition venue. Kjeliker was two up through the turn and held her opponent at bay over the inward half. Sara will now play another surprise winner, Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale) in this afternoon's programme of 16 second-round ties.

Louisa Brunt beat Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) by 3 and 2. Brunt was three up through the turn and they halved the 10th. Muse is ranked No 18 among England's leading women while Brunt is not ranked. Hollie has a World Ranking of 445.

Lily-May Humphreys (Channels) reached the last 32 of the championship with a good 4 and 2 win over Margaux Appart (Belgium) who was the 16th match-play qualifier. Lily-May qualified in 49th place.

The match was all square through holes 9 and 10. But on the inward half the Chelmsford player pulled away with four successes and finished the match on the 16th green.

Dubai-based Alison Muirhead, whose father is a Scot, won by 5 and 4 over Spain's No 9 qualifier, Raquel Olmos Ros. Muirhead qualified in 56th place, one of only two Scots to make it to the match-play stages.

Muirhead now plays another Spaniard, Marta Perez Sanmartin, who was beaten finalist in this championship 12 months ago at West Kilbride.

Isobel Wardle, the No 8 seed from Prestbury, Cheshire, advanced with a 3 and 2 win over the highly rated Irish player, Niamh McSherry from Lurgan. Wardle was one up after 10 and two up after 13.

Fifth seed Beatrice Wallin (Swe), who reached the third round of this event last year, was a 5 and 4 winner over Anni Eisenhut (Germany). Two up at the turn, Wallin had extended that lead to five holes by the 14th tee.

Fourth seed Paul Neira (Spain) won by 3 and 2 against France's Gala Dumez who was two down at the turn but had reduced her deficit to one hole after 13. But Neira responded to the presure by winning a couple of holes for a three-hole lead.

Neira now plays Sammy Fuller from Roehampton who beat Aline Krauter (Germany) by one hole after being three up at the turn but one down on the 14th tee.

Scotland has only one representative left - Dubai-based Alison Muirhead - in the last 32 after Aboyne's Junior Vagliano Trophy team player Shannon McWilliam was beaten 3 and 1 by Pi-Llebi Hermansson (Sweden). Two down at the turn in the steady rain, the Scot lost another one to be three in arrears after 10 and still three down on the 14th tee.

Julia Engstrom (Sweden), 15-year-old holder of the British women's open amateur championship, had a testing tie against Emma Spitz (Austria) who took her to the 18th green before admitting defeat. Engstrom was one up after nine holes but Spitz won the 10th and the match stayed all square until Engstrom got her nose in front again in the closing stages. Spitz was the 62nd qualifier.

Julia, ranked No 23 in the World - the highest rated player in the field, now plays Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer. Williamson won by 5 and 4 against Celina Rosa Sattelkau (Germany) after establishing a three-hole lead by the turn.

Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer) was another English player to advance to the second round. The 22nd qualifier, Emily won by 3 and 2 against Clarisse Louis (Belgium). Price had a two-hole lead at the turn and was three up by the 14th tee.

Sixth seed Ivanna Samu (South Africa), a quarter-finalist in this championship last year, lost by 5 and 4 to the 59th qualifier, Maria Vittoria Corbi (Italy), who had been four up at the turn and then won the 10th. The rain had gone off, at last, by 2pm.

Ireland lost Valerie Clancy (Killarney), beaten, 4 and 3 by Italy's Emilie Alba Paltrinieri who was one up after 10 but three up after 13) but Irish U18 champion Julie McCarthy was three up after 13 against Patricia Garre (Spain), having won three holes in a row from the 11th.

The Forrest Little player went on to win by 3 and 2 against Lilly Marie Koester (Germay) Annabel Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), the No 58 qualifier, KO'd the No 7 seed, Puk Thomsen (Denmark) by 3 and 1. The English player was one up through the ninth and 10th and then doubled her lead by the 14th tee. Annabel now plays Valerie Clancy's conqueror.

No 2 seed Madelene Stavnar (Norway) won by 5 and 4 against Denmark's Stephanie Astrup. Stavnar took a grip on the match on the outward holes and was five up after nine.