Austria’s Isabella Holpfer has continued her form from last week's Girls British Open with an opening round of seven-under 66 in the English Women’s Open Amateur Championship at Coventry Golf Club.
It was her best round to date, included two eagles and gives her a six-shot lead over England’s Caley McGinty, Cara Kelly, Mimi Rhodes and Lucy Jamieson.
“I think I just had a good rhythm and I was confident on my shot and I pretty much hit every green,” said the 17-year-old, who was runner-up in the British Girls’ Championship at the weekend.
Earlier this season she won the Slovenian Women’s Open and, judging by today’s performance, she’s aiming to better last year’s result in this championship when she was third.
Holpfer started both nines with an eagle, slotting putts of 4m and 3m on the 10th and 1st respectively. “I made a few longer putts as well as the shorter ones and I didn’t make a three-putt,” she commented.
The only blemish on her card was a bogey on the long 13th, where she had to take a drop from a water hazard.
Gloucestershire’s Caley McGinty (Knowle) set the early pace in the championship with her steady one-under 72, underlining her strong performances of this season.
Among those to match her score was Cara Gainer (Castle Royle) who won the 2017 English women’s matchplay. Today she made her score on the opening 12 holes, where she was three-under, and said: “I played really solid and it was nice because I had a really good start to the season, then had a bit of a dip in form, so it’s nice to come back.”
Mimi Rhodes (Burnham and Berrow), who recently helped England retain the Girls’ Home Internationals, is also in the tie for second place. She came off the course pleased with her lag putting and her safe play when her driver was unreliable. “I hit four-wood and rescue off the tee, but I got the driver going at the end,” said Rhodes, who came home in three-under.
Lucy Jamieson (Heswall), extended the second-place tie when she came in late in the day with her tidy 72.
The group on level par includes Curtis Cup player Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and girl international Charlotte Heath (Huddersfield), who reached the semi-final of the British girls, before bowing out to Holpfer.
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Image credit: Leaderboard Photography
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