Lancashire’s Brogan Townend made an impressive debut in the English women’s open matchplay championship at Trentham, Staffordshire, when she scored six-under par to lead the 16 qualifiers for the knock-out stage.
The Lancashire county champion and former England girl international (pictured) shot four-under 69 in the morning round and followed up with two-under 71.
She was five shots clear of her closest challenger, Yorkshire’s Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall) who had a one-under total (73 72). Third place went to Lincolnshire’s Emily Slater (Woodhall Spa, 74 72)
“I played nicely, didn’t get into any trouble and holed a lot of putts, which always helps,” said Townend (Pleasington). “It was good and very enjoyable.”
The 21-year-old is a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio and since returning home for the summer break has won her county championship and helped Lancashire to qualify for County Finals.
She won all her singles at North region County Match Week and said: “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I like matchplay and it will be fun.” In tomorrow’s first round she will play the 16th qualifier, Bronwyn Davies from Wolstanton in Staffordshire.
Among the other qualifiers was the host club’s Julie Brown, an England senior international and the 2014 English senior champion. She was only two holes from home when the course was hit by a heavy storm, with very strong winds and torrential rain, and it cost her a shot. Nevertheless, she went through in 7th place.
She dealt with the pressure of playing at home by “pretending I was playing in a ladies’ medal, so it didn’t get to me. It’s been fun and I’m more than happy.”
Her daughter, Emily Coleman, also from Trentham, produced a fighting performance to join the qualifiers. She scored 80 in the first round, but returned two-under 71 this afternoon to qualify ninth.
Other qualifiers include England international Bethan Popel (Long Ashton) and England Golf women’s squad member Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe).
Among those who missed the cut was defending champion Sammie Giles (St Mellion).