England squad player Hannah Screen stormed away from the field to lead the 16 qualifiers at the English women’s open match play championship at Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club.
The 17-year-old was nine-under par for the 36 holes, adding a superb bogey free round of seven-under 66 to her opening 71. She’ll be top seed for the knock out rounds and tomorrow will play 16th qualifier, England international Olivia Winning (Rotherham, Yorkshire).
Scoring was excellent today with 13 of the 16 qualifiers matching par or better. Emily Slater (Gog Magog, Cambs & Hunts) was Screen’s closest challenger on five-under while three players posted scores of three under: Dulcie Sverdloff (Thorpe Hall, Essex), Alice Plumb (Sherborne, Dorset) and Bethan Morris (Tenby, Wales). Among the four players on two-under par was 13-year-old Kate Bibby, who is based in Dubai.
Today’s round was both Screen’s first bogey free score in competition and her lowest, by one, in a tournament.
“My putter was hot today,” said the Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, player. “I hit some great shots off the tee, but it all came down to the putting.
“I just felt really comfortable with my game and let it happen, I didn’t force anything even though it’s quite a long course. The course is in really good condition and if you’re playing well you can be rewarded, but if you had a few bad swings you’d rack up a number.”
Screen is looking forward to the match play. “I’m usually a conservative player but I switch in match play and get quite aggressive. I like going head to head because you don’t have to think about anyone except the person you are playing and you can have some fun with it.”
She’s been in great form for the past year, winning the Scottish U16 girls’ and the Daily Telegraph titles last year and adding another win earlier this week in the prestigious women’s scratch event for the Bridget Jackson Bowl.
However, at the start of the 2016 season matters didn’t look so rosy when Screen was laid off golf for eight weeks with a broken ankle and also had her GCSEs to contend with. “I didn’t have any expectations when I came back and I was so relaxed it helped me perform really well and get into the national girls’ squad which has helped me lots,” she said.
Another plus is that her recent results have taken her into the word rankings for the first time. “My goal for the rest of the year is just to climb up as far as I can,” she said.
Click here for full scores and the match play draw
Caption: Hannah Screen (image copyright Stills Photography)