- Hannah Screen shot a two-under-par 71 to lead the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke Play
- Defending champion Sophie Lamb in a tie for second place on level par
- Tough weather conditions at North Berwick
Teenager Hannah Screen was the only player to break par on the opening day of the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at a blustery and very testing North Berwick.
The 17-year-old Berkhamsted golfer shot a two-under-par 71 to lead by two shots from a group of four players that included the defending champion, Sophie Lamb.
Screen is growing accustomed to shooting low scores. She had a seven under par 66 on her way to leading the qualifying at this season’s English Women’s Open Matchplay Championship at Royal Mid-Surrey.
“Today was just very steady,” she said after a round which included four birdies. “The key was that I never got into any serious trouble. I did drop a shot at the short fourth - in fact I saved a bogey with a good putt.”
Her birdies fell at the 3rd, 11th, 12th and the quartet was concluded with a great up and down at the shortish par four 18th.
Lamb, who triumphed at Knock in Northern Ireland last year, also finished the round in style by driving the green at the 273-yard 18th and making a two-putt birdie.
“It was a tough day, very blowy,” said the 19-year-old from Clitheroe. “It was lovely when you turned at the ninth and played the back nine with the wind at your back.”
Her other two birdies came at the short 4th, where she hit a great tee shot, and at the 16th courtesy of a long putt. She bogeyed the 6th, 7th and 17th.
Great season for Lamb
Lamb, who played for Great Britain and Ireland in this year’s Vagliano Trophy, is in the midst of a great season, and has already enjoyed success in Scotland.
It was a career highlight when she won the amateur prize - the Smyth Salver - at last month’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns. “That was great,” she reflected. “A real honour.”
Tie for second
Ireland’s Paula Grant and the English pair of Cara Gainer and Gemma Clews were tied with Lamb in joint second place on level par.
A qualified optician, Grant is managing to combine her golf with locum work based in Belfast. “I was battling to juggle my golf and my studies for a few years,” admitted the Lisburn 23-year-old.
“I qualified last July and worked full-time until Christmas. But now I am doing locum work, which is ideal.”
Gainer, from the Castle Royle Club in Reading, won the English Women’s Matchplay Championship and the 21-year-old also claimed the Frilford Heath Scratch Salver in what is proving to be an impressive 2017 for the University of Cardiff graduate.
Clews was a late starter and the Delamere Forest member equalled the par of 73 thanks to a chip and putt birdie at the 18th.
Shannon McWilliam led the Scottish challenge with a one-over-par 74. Having just left Aboyne Academy, the 18-year-old is taking a year out to play golf and her sights are set firmly on a place in the Great Britain and Ireland team for next year’s Curtis Cup at Quaker Ridge in the United States.
McWilliam’s solitary birdie came at the 8th where she holed a monster putt. But she was disappointed to miss a five foot putt for a three at the last that would have tied playing partner Lamb.
Germany’s Yvonne Schrumpf made her mark in the Championship with a hole-in-one at the 145-yard 6th. One hop and in it popped.
For results and scoring please visit the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship page here.