The R&A - Working for Golf

Only leaders can break par at Royal Belfast

  • Sue Wooster and Macarena Campomanes Eguiguren lead on two-under-par in Ladies Senior British Open Amateur Championship
  • Only two players broke par at Royal Belfast

Sue Wooster was a relatively late convert to golf, but a two-under-par 69 in the first round of the Ladies Senior British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Belfast today continued a recent run of success. 

Over a course playing very long in the autumnal conditions, the Australian had four birdies to share the lead with Spain’s Macarena Campomanes Eguiguren.

Campomanes Eguiguren also had a quartet of birdies and her round included a late flourish. She holed two very long putts for birdies at the 16th and 17th.

Wooster continues form

Wooster, a member of Melbourne National, is on a global tour. She recently won the Canadian Seniors in Newfoundland and then went on to compete in a number of senior events in the US.

She qualified in sixth place for the USGA Seniors Championship before losing out in the last 32 stage of match play. 

With husband Keith as her caddie, she birdied the 3rd, 13th, 16th and 18th. None of the putts was longer than six feet and her score would have bene even better if she hadn’t three-putted the 7th for one of only two bogeys. 

“I only started playing golf seriously when I was 40, and now I absolutely love it,” Wooster explained. “I did play other sports when I was younger, but golf is the best.”

Spanish pedigree

Campomanes Eguiguren has a fine golfing pedigree. She was twice a player in the Vagliano Trophy, and has captained the Continent of Europe side three times. 

Third at Royal Dornoch three years ago, the Spaniard was out in one-over-par before making her move with a birdie at the 10th and then the two strokes picked up at the 16th and 17th.

Chasing pack

The two leaders were the only players to break par. Caroline Berry was the next best on one-over-par 72 with Debbie Richards and Sylvie Van Molle on two-over-par-73.

Berry is married to the Bromborough professional, Geoff, and he played his part in her round in which she carded three birdies.

“Professionals are not allowed to caddie, but he came over for the practice rounds,” Berry said. “He told me I had to plot my way round the course and that was what I did.”

Berry finished fourth the last time the championship was held in Ireland, at Royal Portrush in 2013, but she missed last year’s Championship at Caldy.

Short game

Richards, a self-confessed short hitter, admitted that she enjoyed a day of wizardry around the greens. 

“My short game saved me,” said the Burhill member. “I only had 28 putts - and that included two three-putts.”

Van Molle, from Belgium but living in Paris, had a mixed bag. She had four birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey at the third. 

“It was very up and down,” she admitted. “But my short game was very good today. I only started the game when I was 30, so I never played any junior golf.

“A lot of the players here have known each other since girls’ days - but everyone has been very friendly and welcoming.”

Please see results and scoring from the Ladies Senior Open Amateur Championship here.