Defending champion Emilie Paltrinieri carded a three-under-par 69 to lead the Girls British Open Amateur Championship after the first round of stroke play qualifying at Enville.
During sunny conditions in the West Midlands the Italian produced some excellent play on the front nine, rolling in birdies on the the 2nd and 6th holes, both short par threes, and the 9th, which at 580-yards is the longest of the par fives on the course.
Back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th looked to have halted her charge but a birdie on the 18th resulted in a more positive outcome for the 15-year-old who has eyes on lifting the trophy for a second year running after beating Isobel Wardle at Royal St David’s last year.
“I am very happy after today’s round”, said Paltrinieri. “I found good rhythm on the front nine to make some birdies although I had a couple of bad tee shots during the back nine, I managed to keep my score. I feel quite confident going into tomorrow’s round.
“The conditions were good today and even though there are lots of trees, with the little wind it was easy to keep the ball on the fairway.”
McWilliam sets early pace
Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam was in the first group out on the course at 06:30 this morning and she set the early clubhouse target after posting a two-under-par 70.
An early birdie on the 3rd was tempered by bogeys on 5th and 9th but the Aboyne-based youngster responded with consecutive birdies on the 10th and 11th before picking up another stroke on the par four 15th.
“I’m happy as I was just aiming to shoot level par”, said McWilliam. “I kept the ball on the fairway, hit the greens and holed some putts. It’s important to get a good score on the leaderboard early in the day and it’s nice to be up there.”
Several players are in the chasing pack one shot further back and tied for third place on one-under-par, including Finland’s Anna Backman who reached the semi-finals of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig before losing to eventual winner Leona Maguire.View live scoring and results from the Girls British Open Amateur Championship here