Lottie Woad admits the disruption to normal life as well as the golfing calendar has given her an unexpected chance to contend at the English Women’s Amateur Championship.
The girls’ squad player is one of seven current England internationals to make it through to the last 16 of the women’s event at Woodhall Spa Golf Club in Lincolnshire.
Other top contenders include defending champion Ellen Hume, 2017 winner Lily May Humphreys current British Women’s amateur champion Emily Toy and Mimi Rhodes (main picture).
A one-over par round of 74 on the Hotchkin Course allowed Surrey schoolgirl Woad to take her place in the knockout stages.
Combined with a first round score of one-over par (73) on the Bracken Course, the 16-year-old qualified as third seed.
Ordinarily, the Farnham Golf Club member would have missed the original date of the women’s amateur as it clashed with GCSE exams in May.
But with the onset of the coronavirus, the closure of schools and then a re-arranged date for the championship, she was able to tee it up at the home of England Golf.
After comfortably making the knockout stages, Woad admitted: “I haven’t played in this event before as I was at school.
“I would have missed it this year too with GCSE’s, so that’s the one positive from all of this.
“I was taking exams in Maths, English, Science, Geography, PE, Spanish and Design and Technology.
“I’m not upset about the Spanish as I’d forgotten it anyway. The language is the quickest thing to go after a break!”
Woad played her final 13 holes on the Hotchkin in three under par to ease any pressure following four bogeys in five holes at the start of her round.
The teenager is not the only player on form going into the match play.
Hertfordshire’s Hume fired another excellent round of 70 for a three-under par score on the Hotchkin to go into the match play as second seed behind Thalia Kirby who maintained her place at the top of the leaderboard from day one.
Woburn’s Megan Dennis also found a rich vein of form to shoot one better on the Hotchkin – a sparkling five under par round of 68.
Dennis said: “I finished with three birdies so that was really good.
“To be honest I was just playing and sticking to my strategy. I hadn’t played here before the practice round and really enjoyed it.
“It definitely is a really good test but if you stick to the plan, miss the bunkers and play within yourself you can do well.”
Full details on today’s scores, the qualifiers, the draw and timings for tomorrow’s round of 16 can be found on the England Golf Championship homepage.