Aileen edges ahead in senior championship

Aileen Greenfield

International Aileen Greenfield moved into the lead in the English senior women’s stroke play championship with a second round of level par 72 at Harpenden in Hertfordshire.

She’s a stroke ahead of defending champion Jackie Foster and two-time winner Janet Melville, who moved up today with a score of one-under 71.

The leaderboard is tightly packed at the top and every one of the top eight players have represented England, with the leaders being chased by Julie Brown, Helen Lowe, Karen Jobling, Felicity Christine and Amanda Mayne.

Greenfield (pictured top), from Pyecombe in Sussex, made her senior debut in this championship two years ago and has never been out of contention. So far she’s finished runner-up twice and in May she was also runner-up in the English senior amateur.

Today she improved on her opening score by five shots, covering the first ten holes in three-under par. She didn’t drop a shot until the 13th and although she finished with a pair of bogeys she was happy when she left the course.

“It wasn’t quite there yesterday, but my ball striking was better today, I hit it close a few times and holed some nice putts,” she said.

The second round of the championship was again played in stifling heat.  Greenfield countered the conditions with a large, wet towel round her shoulders while Melville (Royal Birkdale) had an asset in the shape of her caddy and fiancé Tony Davies.

He’s a tennis player, who captained the Lancashire over 50s last year, and as Melville (pictured left) commented: “He’s used to the heat and he kept me going with water and food. It was good.”

She was one-under to the turn and came home in level par, collecting four birdies in her round. “I was a bit shaky at the start but I holed a good putt for par on the second and then birdied the third which got me going. I hit the ball well yesterday but didn’t hole anything.”

Melville has enjoyed an outstanding amateur career, collecting three British titles, and later this season will captain the England girls’ team at their Home Internationals. She last held the role when she was 20 and her winning side included Laura Davies and Trish Johnson.

Jackie Foster was among the day’s early starters and took advantage of the slightly cooler conditions to shape her second 75. She had a ‘silly seven’ on the 6th but the double bogey was her only real blemish and she remarked: “I putted well today and I’m really happy with two 75s.”

Overnight leader Felicity Christine (Woking) dropped back slightly with her second round 78 and now shares sixth place with Yorkshire’s Karen Jobling (Richmond).

After today’s round the field was cut to the leading 45 players and ties with a total of 46 players qualifying for tomorrow’s final round. They include Harpenden members Cathy Gosling and Rhona Finch. 

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