Iceland’s Ragnhildur Kristinsdóttir recorded the lowest round of the week to finish as the leading qualifier for the match play stage of The 118th Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
Route 6️⃣6️⃣ for Ragnhildur Kristinsdóttir 🇮🇸— The R&A (@RandA) June 8, 2021
The Icelandic player tops the leaderboard in strokeplay and books herself a place in the knockout stages 🥊
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Kristinsdóttir signed for a seven-under-par 66, eight shots better than her opening round of one-over-par, to top the leaderboard on six-under-par total 140.
From a starting field of almost 100 players aged from 13 to 58, the 23-year-old Icelandic talent leads the top 64 players into the match play stage starting tomorrow.
Sitting two shots back is Amy Taylor with rounds of 72 and 70.
Overnight leader Hannah Darling had a tougher day with a one-over-par 74 but managed to eagle the 11th hole for the second time this week. She safely earns her place in the match play stage, finishing alongside Taylor on four-under-par 142.
Beth Coulter of Ireland advances on three-under-par 143 with 2019 Women’s Amateur Champion Emily Toy a shot further back.
Annabell Fuller finished her two qualifying rounds on one-under-par 145 with Louise Duncan of Scotland the only other player to finish at par or better.
Kristinsdóttir goes low to shoot up the leaderboard
The Icelander, who holds the best stroke average in Eastern Kentucky University history, recorded eight birdies on the 1st, 3rd, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes and a lone bogey at the par-4 16th.
Happy with her putting in the second qualifying round Kristinsdóttir said, “I got the putter rolling pretty quickly. I hit the ball pretty good and managed to keep myself out of trouble but all props to the putter today. I made a few of the mid-range putts in the 15-30 foot range.
“I shot a 63 two weeks back, so I had quite a lot of confidence coming in but it’s about performing on the bigger stage.
‘’Links golf is completely different to the [United] States, but this is what I’m used to at home. The States is ok but in my mind links golf is the way golf is meant to be played.
The 23-year-old will now have another day on the links as she heads into the match play stage of The Women’s Amateur Championship.
“I’m quite an aggressive player by nature, I don’t like playing conservatively, so if I see a flag I’m going to fire at it no matter what. If I keep rolling those putts in I should be in good shape.”
Taylor looking forward to match play
Taylor, the Englishwoman, whose second round featured five birdies and two bogeys, drew on her college experience at Texas Tech to handle the windy conditions at Barassie today.
With two of her birdies coming on the 16th and 17th holes she commented, “I felt really good with my game coming into the championship and I got off to a good start today with a birdie at the first and the fourth as well.
“That gave me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the round. I dropped a couple of shots around the middle of the round, but I had a pretty strong finish.
“I quite like playing links golf, but I don’t get a lot of it, where I live is quite inland. I play at Texas Tech in America and its really windy there so practising in that helps a lot. I am used to hitting the lower shots which came in use today.”
Having successfully qualified, she now turns her attention to the match play, “Match play is a really fun format, I don’t get to play it very often especially in college so I am really looking forward to it. It’s always more competitive and more fun so it should be an exciting rest of the week.
“It’s a really strong field and there is going to be some tight matches out there so it’s just who can make the least mistakes.”
Patience is key for Darling
Darling, who was the leading player overnight, had a more challenging day out at Barassie with a one-over-par round which featured an eagle at the par-5 11th for the second consecutive day as well as birdies at the 1st and 15th which were counteracted by bogeys at the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th and 12th.
By maintaining patience however, she safely progresses through to the top 64.
She commented, “Today wasn’t as good as yesterday but I am proud of how I came back. I was leading and sometimes that can get in your head and it’s easy to push it a bit.
“Towards the end, I was a few over, but I stayed patient and said to myself if I could be one-under for the last four I would be fine and I was, so that is good.
“Now I need to just play each match as it comes, just play the course and not get to far ahead of myself. I am playing good, so who knows what this week can bring.”
The match play stage gets underway tomorrow with each tie consisting of one round of 18 holes with the Final on Saturday played over 36 holes.
The 36 hole final round will be live broadcast on The R&A’s YouTube and Facebook accounts as well as on randa.org
There are significant rewards for the champion with exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.
Live scoring, news and video can be followed on The R&A’s website and social media platforms.
Match play draw available here.