Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam led the qualifiers for the match play stage of the Girls British Open Amateur Championship at Enville Golf Club today.
The Scot posted a one-under-par 71 to finish on a three-under-par total of 141 for the two stroke play qualifying rounds.
The Aboyne-based youngster, who recently finished runner-up in the 2017 Helen Holm Scottish Ladies Stroke Play Championship at Royal Troon, made a flying start to the second round and rolled in birdie putts on the long par five opening hole and the 5th.
However, her charge was checked towards the end of the front nine after three consecutive bogeys spanning the 7th, 8th and 9th holes resulted in the 2015 Scottish Ladies’ Order of Merit winner going out in 38, two-over-par.
McWilliam bounced back on the inward stretch though, responding strongly to the earlier set-back with birdies on the 13th, 16th and 18th holes to eventually sign off for a one-under-par 71.
“I started off well and I was one-under-par through six holes but then I bogeyed the next three holes to drop to two-over. The wind got up and it was difficult”, said McWilliam.
“The pins were a little bit easier on the back nine so I holed a few more putts there.
“I feel confident going into the match play but it is a different game and anything can happen. You have to be a bit more aggressive.”
Hermes makes surge
A trio of players including Germany’s Caroline Hermes, French youngster Elisabeth Codet and England’s Mimi Rhodes finished one shot further back on a two-under-par total of 142.
Hermes led the championship on five-under-par after 12 holes of her second round, notching up six birdies, including four on the front nine, to make a dramatic surge up the leaderboard.
Her lead was short-lived however and a difficult final few holes, which included three bogeys in a row from the 15th, meant that she would have to settle for a one-under-par 71.
It was also a case of a missed opportunity for Codet after a triple bogey 7 on the par four 7th blemished her scorecard on the way to a one-under-par 71, while England under 18 international Rhodes mixed six birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey to also post a 71.
“I played quite well today”, said Rhodes. “My shots off the tee weren’t too good and I wasn’t well placed on the fairways but I played some really great iron shots and started holing some putts. The birdie on the 18th felt good.
“I’m really happy to have made the cut and I’m hoping to get right to the final and win it.”
“I played better on the front nine with some nice shots and the weather helped. My putting was really strong and I made a few birdies”, added Hermes.
“My aim was to make the cut and now that I have done so, I am looking forward to the remainder of the championship. This course will be really good for match play.”
Lucie Malchirand, Elena Moosmann and Cecilie Neilsen were the other three players to finish under par following the completion of the stroke play rounds: a total of 143, one-under-par.
The cut for the top 64 players fell at eight-over-par and the match play stage gets underway tomorrow at Enville. Each round including the final will be 18 holes.
View live scoring and results from the Girls British Open Amateur Championship here