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Past champion through at Girls Amateur

Italy’s Emilie Alba Paltrinieri produced match play heroics in her quest for another Girls British Amateur Championship title, as home hopes ended in the second round.

 

Paltrinieri, the 2016 champion at Royal St David’s and one of the top players in the field at 88th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was four down after six holes of her first round meeting with Danielle Modder from the Netherlands before storming back for a one-hole win.

The 16-year-old from Milan, also a Junior Ryder Cup player in 2016 at Interlachen, then moved into the last-16 after a dominant 6&5 triumph over India’s Anika Varma.

Comeback

“The first few holes I wasn’t playing that badly in the morning against Danielle, I was just hitting the greens in the wrong spots and making some bogeys,” said Emilie. “I continued doing the same things, just being more confident with my game and made some more putts which helped.

“I never gave up, tried to do my best on every shot and it worked. I played really well in the afternoon to beat Anika, kept myself going and was three under par for my 13 holes.”

On another windy day on the spectacular Ardglass links, England’s Euphemie Rhodes also achieved an impressive day’s work. Having only just scrapped through stroke play qualifying on the cut mark, the 16-year-old saw off the challenge of team-mate and fellow Girls Home Internationals winner, Caitlin Whitehead, in a tight 2&1 victory.

Irish hopes dashed

Earlier, Rhodes accounted for a home favourite, Woodstock’s Aine Donegan, as the Irish challenge ended in the last-32. Hannah Darling, the Girls Under 16 Open champion, won three holes from the 10th as the 15-year-old turned around her tie with Annabel Wilson (Lurgan), prevailing on the 18th.

Rhodes said, “It was quite tough in the wind and I was struggling in the end against Caitlin so it was great to hole a 10 footer on 16 to go two up and get the win. We’re quite good friends, so it wasn’t great competing against her. We had a few laughs on the course but it got a bit serious.

“I was quite stressed yesterday, coming through stroke play qualifying only ahead of seven players but I did it and anything can happen in match play.”

Key putt

Darling added, “The four-foot putt on the last to win was nerve wracking but I stroked it like I do in practice, went through my routine and it was a great feeling to hole it.

“I wasn’t happy in the morning so came out in the afternoon and played the course rather than my opponent. I focused on making pars. Hopefully I can go all the way now although you never know as it’s match play after all.”

The last Irish player standing, local Beth Coulter from Kirkistown Castle, was then ousted in the final match of the day, defeated by Huddersfield’s Charlotte Heath 4&3.

Top seed exit

For the leading stroke play qualifier there was disappointment as Ingrid Lindblad lost an all-Swedish battle with Kajsa Arwefjall at the last in round one but second-placed Mathilde Claisse from France battled to a one-hole success over England’s Martha Lewis to reach the last-16. South African Caitlyn Macnab was also a notable victor, easing into the last-16, beating Canada’s Celeste Dao 4&3.

Last year’s semi-finalist, Elena Moosman from Switzerland, bowed out, defeated by France’s Eleonore Hubert 4&2. England’s Amy Taylor also claimed the impressive scalp of the Canadian, Ellie Szeryk.

The highest-ranked player in the field, Italy’s Alessia Nobilio, maintained her title bid with a 4&3 win over Marta Garcia Llorca from Spain.