Ireland’s Rebekah Gardner produced a sizzling five-under par round of 67 to lead the pack after the first day of action at the English Girls’ Championship at The Wilmslow Golf Club.
On a hot and humid day in Cheshire, Gardner (main image) conjured up four birdies and an eagle to top the leaderboard and head Gemma Burgess (pictured below) of North Hants by two shots.
England girls’ squad player Ellise Rymer (pictured below) sits third after posting a first round score of 70 (-2) which included consecutive birdies at the 13th, 14th and 15th holes.
Rymer’s fellow girls’ squad teammates Rachel Gourley and Olivia Lee both remain in contention in a tie for fourth alongside Sophie Anand from The Bahamas after all three players fired rounds of 71 (-1).
However, the performance of the day belonged to Gardner, who holds the advantage going into the second day of competition.
As one of the early starters, she was delighted with how her first round went.
“I’m really pleased. It’s not everyday you shoot five under,” she confirmed.
“I had a nice eagle early on and managed to hole my putts which gave me confidence to go on and implement my game plan. I felt like I did everything right and didn’t do much wrong.”
A two-tee start was employed with players out earlier and later than usual to take into account the warmest weather conditions forecast for the middle part of the day.
“It was very hot,” added Gardner.
“The fairways were really bouncy, so you had to pace it well off the tee which is sometimes tricky when the ball runs a bit further down than you want it too. However, the greens were taking the ball ok, so it was good.”
After a strong start to the week, Gardner will be hoping to continue her fine form heading into the second round tomorrow.
The Irish hopeful said: “I’m just looking for more of the same. I’m going to go out there and keep doing what I’m doing and take it one shot at a time.”
Following the conclusion of round two, a cut will be made, and the leading 40 players and ties will go on to play a further 36 holes on the final day.