International Alex Peters holds a one-shot lead at the head of a packed leaderboard at the halfway stage of the English women’s amateur championship at St Enodoc in Cornwall.
Alec (pictured top) added a second round score of 72 to her opening 73 and is three-over par on the demanding course.
Tomorrow’s final 36 holes – contested by the top 32 players and ties – promises to be very exciting with eight players within five shots of the lead and a host of others tightly bunched behind them.
Two Cheshire players are the closest challengers: Curtis Cup player Bronte Law and Gemma Clews are just a shot off the pace; while overnight leader Inci Mehmet of Surrey lies two further shots back.
Right in the hunt are former champion Hayley Davis of Dorset, Sophie Newlove of Nottinghamshire, Jess Bradley of Devon, Bethan Popel of Gloucestershire and defending champion Sarah-Jane Boyd of Cornwall.
A total of 33 players made the halfway cut as the course again set a stern test for the competitors. There were tears from some as the rough, the putting surfaces and the steadily strengthening wind got the better of them, but there were also impressive displays of course management and solid scoring.
Alex Peters seized the lead with a fine finish, holing good putts on the 17th and 18th for a pair of closing birdies. “It was tough out there, the wind was a lot stronger than yesterday, but I kept it in play and holed a few good putts when I needed to,” she said.
“I’m very happy with where I am, but there’s a couple more rounds to go,” added Alex, who was runner-up in this event last year.
Gemma Clews kept her firm grip on second place when she returned 74. “I played well and holed some important putts,” she said. “It was tough on the back nine when the wind got up.”
She’s joined in second place by Bronte Law who played the back nine in one-under par to return her second 73 of the championship. “If you can get through the last five holes in level par you will have a nice score,” she said. “If you don’t, you can be swallowed up.
“I was hitting the ball really, really well – I missed maybe one fairway – and I’m very happy to be in with a score like that, whatever anyone else does. I did the best I could,” she said.
Defending champion Sarah-Jane Boyd safely made the cut after returning a second round 77. First round leader Inci Mehmet also shot 77, blaming a couple of bad shots and some missed putts – and intending to bounce back tomorrow.
The best rounds of the day came from Lily Kent from Suffolk and Surrey’s Gee-Won Park, who both went round in level par 71.
Lily, who will be 19 tomorrow, knocked 10 shots off her first round score and qualified in 12th place. The highlight was a holed chip from 50 yards for an eagle three on the 10th and she said: “I’m really pleased, I’ve only played a few events like this and this course is different to anything I have played. Today I was a bit more focussed and made a few more putts.”
Gee-Won, 19, missed the cut but left St Enodoc on a good note after her level par round, which ended with an eagle three. “I knew I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It’s a great course, in great condition and I had good company. I just enjoyed it and got a good result.”
The youngest player in the field is 12-year-old Annabell Fuller from Surrey and, although she also missed the cut, she signed off with a good round of 78, which included birdies on the 14th and 18th, where she hit the par five green in two.
“It was fun, it was a new experience,” said Annabell, who plays off six and won the Surrey U13 title earlier this season. This was her first appearance in this event.
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