Olivia Lee has learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to golf – but day one of the English Women’s Amateur Championship appeared relatively straightforward!
Lee – a member of the England girls’ squad – recently had to play the European Team Championship with a set of borrowed clubs after hers fell victim to the current airport chaos.
During the same event, wind and rain forced a halt to play with putts being blown UPHILL in the gales.
Today, Lee fashioned five birdies in a three-under par round of 71 at Worksop Golf Club to lead the stroke play qualifying by a shot.
Abbie Teasdale – playing at Lindrick – and Alexandra Phelps who, like Lee, was on the course at Worksop, were locked together on two-under par.
For Lee it was a promising start to what could be a long week and plain sailing after recent experiences.
On her Icelandic adventure, Lee said: “My clubs went missing and never turned up and we just hoped each day they’d turn up – they never did.
“The golf club and England Golf were helpful to get me decent spare clubs and the driver I got was decent – a special shout out for that one. It really helped me.
“Play was also suspended due to wind because a ball rolled backwards on a putt which wasn’t even downhill. That was entertaining.”
No such troubles for Lee at Worksop where morning drizzle soon fizzled out and the wind was nothing more than a gentle breeze.
She added: “I got a double on the third so I thought I needed a couple of birdies – the back nine was great. I holed putts and put myself in a great position to make birdies. It was fairly smooth.
“I think it took me a bit of time to get warmed up. I only played the course on Monday and was then told the greens had got quick and that was in my head.
“I just tried to be sensible and play to my plan and holed some putts.”
Teasdale could be happy with her round at Lindrick where the scoring – on average – was tougher than at Worksop.
Teasdale – born in England but now living in Australia – reached the turn in one over par, but three birdies on the home stretch left her smiling after a job well done.
Phelps spoke for the field when she admitted that the calm conditions after a strong wind in practice caused a few headaches.
She said: “It was tough and the weather was a bit hit and miss. I played a practice round in the wind and then had to alter my game plan a bit.
“I changed clubs quite a lot from the tee as the wind was switching around.”
The highlight for Phelps was an eagle three at the ninth hole – a 220 yard hybrid leaving the Woking golfer a six-foot putt down the slope.
After tomorrow’s second round the field will be whittled down to the last 32 who will then progress to the match play stages.