Eloise sets pace in English U15 championship
Lancashire’s Eloise Healey shot two-under par 70 to take the first round lead in the English girls’ U15 championship at Delamere Forest, Cheshire.
It was a superb score in tough, wet conditions and the 14-year-old from West Lancashire is five shots clear of the field.
A group of four players share second place and they promise strong competition. They include Alice Hewson of Hertfordshire who is a past winner of the U13 title, and Sophie Madden of Essex who recently won the Ian Poulter junior invitational, beating a mixed field. Annabel Bailey of Nottinghamshire and Ainee O’Connor of Kent complete the chasing group.
After play, Eloise (Image © Leaderboard Photography) revealed that she was surprised by her score after double bogeys on the second and third. “When you lose four shots in two holes you don’t expect that sort of score. But after a few hiccups, I just tried to play steady and to stay out of the rough.”
She had made a good start to her round, with a birdie four on the first. But then came her two double bogeys – although they were to be the only blemishes on the card. She soon repaired the damage with three birdies before the turn, to reach the halfway stage at level par.
A pair of birdie threes on the 13th and 14th helped her complete her lowest gross score to date.
Eloise, who set off in the rain, made the most of a good short game. She got up and down for birdies on two par fives, holed a 20-footer for another on the 10th –and on the 14th, she knocked her gap wedge to about 2ft to set up yet another birdie.
She also frequently left her driver in the bag to make sure she kept out of the rough, notably taking a five-iron on the par five 18th - and was rewarded with a par.
Eloise is in good form this season with a high finish in the Fairhaven Trophies and a top 30 in the English women’s amateur at Royal Birkdale.
Leading first round scores
Par 72 SS 75
70 Eloise Healey (West Lancashire)
75 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Annabel Bailey (Notts Ladies’), Sophie Madden (West Essex), Ainee O'Connor (Sundridge Park)
76 Fay Carpenter (Knighton Heath), Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe)
77 Kirsty Beckwith (Moortown)
78 Elizabeth Prior (Foxhills), Ciara Kelly (Hagley)
79 Emily Lyle (Worksop), Sophie Newlove (Beeston Fields)
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