New girl Annabel takes charge at U18 championship
Surrey’s Annabel Dimmock made her debut in the English girls’ championship in style – taking the first round lead at Sandiway, Cheshire, with a three-under par 69.
The Wentworth player has just graduated from U15 ranks and she made the transition look easy, with six birdies in her round. “I am really pleased, it’s my first round in my first year in this championship and I’m nicely surprised,” said Annabel.
She’s two shots ahead of Yorkshire’s Olivia Winning, who also beat par with 71, while Bethan Popel of Gloucestershire, Ashleigh Greenham of Essex and Emma Newlove of Nottinghamshire all returned level par scores.
Annabel, (Image © Leaderboard Photography) who was runner-up in last year’s U15 championship, came up with a clear game plan in practice – and stuck to it during the first round.
“I used my three-wood off the tee quite a lot and left myself with a lot of 100-yard shots in to the greens. That’s a yardage that suits me,” said the 15-year-old, who went on to hit a lot of shots close. “I sank a few putts once the putter got hot.”
Despite wet weather and the challenging rough, the players impressed with good scores. Olivia Winning fashioned a fine finish to her round with two birdies in the last three holes. The Rotherham player – who will represent England in the Girls’ Home Internationals next week – is in good form and recently won the Pleasington Putter.
Chasing the leaders are Bethan Popel, Ashleigh Greenham and Emma Newlove. “It was very tough, it was playing long and the greens were firm,” said Bethan, 17. “But I hit it straight and stayed out of the rough and the trees.”
She also got the measure of the greens and sank a rewarding number of good scores, including a 25-footer on the short 13th.
Oxfordshire’s Cara Gainer was among the early starters and set a fine target with her one-over score. At the end of the day she’d been passed by only five players, while she was joined on 73 by Curtis Cup player Bronte Law of Cheshire and girl internationals Shelby Smart of Gloucestershire and Lancashire’s Emily Taylor.
Another Cheshire player, Poppy Finlay, shares 10th place with Surrey’s Shannon Flynn after they both scored 74.
Behind them are a group of ten players on 75 which includes three more girl internationals: Amber Ratcliffe of Norfolk, Gabriella Cowley of Essex and Meghan MacLaren of Northamptonshire.
Leading first round scores
Par 72 SS 75 CSS 75
69 Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth)
71 Olivia Winning (Rotherham)
72 Bethan Popel (Long Ashton), Ashleigh Greenham (West Essex) Emma Newlove (Notts Ladies’)
73 Cara Gainer (Frilford Heath) Shelby Smart (Knowle), Emily Taylor (Hillside), Bronte Law (Bramhall)
74 Shannon Flynn (Burhill), Poppy Finlay (Vicars Cross)
75 Lucy Evans (Wrekin), Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer), Gabriella Cowley (West Essex), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Aimee Ponte ( Royal Guernsey), Emily Slater (Woodhall Spa), Abigail Laker (Frilford Heath), Samantha Meese (Enville), Emma Harris (Peel Ladies), Rebecca Horner (Woodham)
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