Gillian beats par to set the senior pace

Cheshire’s Gillian Mellor set the pace in the English Senior Women’s Amateur with a first round score of one-under 71 at Enville Golf Club, Staffordshire.

Mellor, from Prestbury (pictured), finished her round with three consecutive birdies to lead by four from Carol Houghton of The Nottinghamshire.

Norfolk’s Tracey Williamson hit the shot of the day with a hole-in-one on the 16th which, coupled with a birdie on 18, helped her into a share of third place on four-over.

“I’d three-putted three greens on the trot before I got to that hole,” said Williamson (Royal Cromer). “It took the putting element out!”

She took a five-iron for her shot to the 171-yard hole but, as with her two previous aces, didn’t see the ball go in the hole. “The green was all in shadow. I knew I’d hit a good shot, but when I got up there I thought it might have gone through the back.”

Williamson is tied with Debbie Warren (Kings Norton) and Julie Wheeldon (Wakefield).

After tomorrow’s second round the leading 32 players will qualify for the championship match play for the Wendy Taylor Salver. Defending champion Aileen Greenfield is comfortably in the hunt in a group on eight-over.

Host county Staffordshire boasts two senior internationals in the field, with former champion Julie Brown (Trentham) scoring nine-over today, while Sue Spencer (Whittington Heath) is two shots further back.

In the over-60s Ann Howard Trophy, the first day lead was taken by Angela Jones (Canterbury) on seven over. She’s a shot ahead of Jayne Fletcher (Whittington Heath) and Sheree Dove-Wilde (Camberley Heath). Defending champion Carol Wild (Notts Ladies) is a stroke further back.

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