Lucie Malchirand got off to a flying start in the 91st staging of the Girls' Amateur Championship at Panmure today with a seven-under-par round of 64 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of stroke play qualifying.
The 16-year-old from France turned in three-under and went on to notch up eagles on the par five 10th and 14th holes on her way to setting a new women’s course record at the renowned Angus links.
Malchirand continues a rich vein of form
Malchirand, who is second in the Junior Solheim Cup rankings and has two wins already this year, said, “I’m feeling really good. It was the first day and it is a bit stressful but I’m really happy to post seven-under today. The course was really nice and I didn’t have any rain. I haven’t played well in my previous tournaments on links courses and this is the first time I have shot seven-under on a links course.”
Conditions varied throughout the day with periods of gusting winds, squally showers and calmer sunnier conditions. Scoring was strong among some of the later starters with Alessia Nobilio of Italy carding a five-under-par 66. Nobilio, the highest-ranked player in the field at sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, made her move on the front nine with four consecutive birdies from the 5th and parred her way in.
Pia Babnik, who won the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Championship earlier this year, is one shot further back after a four-under-par 67.
Hannah Darling leads home hopes
Scotland’s Hannah Darling, who won The R&A’s inaugural Girls' Under 16 Amateur last year and the Scottish Girls Open Championship this year, sits fourth after a two-under-par 69.
Annabell Fuller from Roehampton is on one-under-par, a shot ahead of her compatriot Euphemie Rhodes from Burnham and Berrow who is on the same mark as Isabella Holpfer from Austria, Katri Bakker from Finland, Christin Eisenbeiss from Germany and Sweden’s Louise Rydqvist.
Former champions Emilie Paltrieneri and Lily May Humphries struggled with rounds of three-over-par 74 and seven-over-par 78 respectively.
Players from as far afield as Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States of America are competing with a strong contingent from Great Britain and Ireland and mainland Europe as the championship, founded in 1919, celebrates its centenary year.
Following tomorrow’s second round of stroke play qualifying the leading 64 players and ties will progress to the match play stage at Panmure. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes including Saturday’s final.
The winner will receive exemptions into the 2020 Women's Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
Admission and parking are free of charge for spectators visiting Panmure.