Alessia Nobilio showed why she is the highest-ranked player in the field for the centenary R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship with a sterling performance at Panmure today to finish as the leading qualifier for the match play stage.
Nobilio, who hails from Milan compiled a six-under-par round of 65 to move to 11-under-par for the championship and secure her place in the last 64, one shot ahead of her nearest rival Lucie Malchirand from France.
Nobilio’s blemish free card
Ranked sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Nobilio did not drop a shot in the two stroke play rounds and four birdies in her opening six holes in benign conditions at the challenging Angus links this morning set her well on her way.
The winner of the Italian Ladies Stroke Play Championship and the Citta di Milano Trofeo Gianni Albertini as well as a member of the winning Continent of Europe Vagliano Team in June picked up further shots on the 10th and 11th to coast home.
“I’m very confident with my game right now because I have made two very low scores but we all know that match play is completely different,” said Nobilio. “You have to be focused on the course but also on the person you are playing against so it will be tough. We are all very good players and it will be a very good contest between us.”
Malchirand, who led after the first round, also made a fast start with birdies at her opening two holes and eased to a three-under-par 68 for a ten-under-par total.
“My game was very nice today,” she said. “I just missed some irons and that’s why I made some mistakes that I didn’t make yesterday. It’s nice to have qualified. I finished second before the cut and my objective is achieved so I’m really happy. Now it’s a new championship with new objectives and so I just have to change everything.”
Fuller eases into the match play stage
Roehampton’s Annabell Fuller, a member of the Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Trophy team, racked up five consecutive birdies from the 6th and bounced back from dropped shots on the 14th and 15th with a birdie on the 17th to card a five-under-par 66 which left her in third position on six-under-par overall.
Fuller said, “I came straight back from America so I just wanted to play two solid rounds and get into the match play. It was good to build some confidence and it shows that I can play well round this golf course and hit good shots. Match play is completely different. You can go for more things and be a bit more aggressive here and there so it will be a lot of fun.”
Slovenia’s Pia Babnik, the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Champion, qualified comfortably with a three-under-par total of 139 following a one-over-par 72, two shots clear of Germany’s Christin Eisenbeiss.
Broomieknowe’s Hannah Darling qualified as the leading Scot on level par after a two-over-par 72. The two-time Scottish Girls’ Amateur Champion traded four birdies with six bogeys.
The cut fell at nine-over-par with former champions Emilie Paltrinieri and Lily May Humphries qualifying on three-over and seven-over respectively.
The qualifiers will each be looking to follow in the footsteps of the four past champions in this event who were named in the European Solheim Cup team this week: Georgia Hall, Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Munoz.
Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes including Saturday’s final. The winner will receive exemptions into the 2020 Womens Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and the Augusta National Womens Amateur Championship.