Lily May keeps her grip on the lead

Lily May Humphreys
Teenager Lily May Humphreys shot level par today to keep her grip on the lead in the English women’s amateur championship at Lindrick, Yorkshire. 
She heads into tomorrow’s final 36 holes on two-under par and three shots ahead of India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) and Emma Allen (Meon Valley). All three players had level par scores today of 72. Two shots further back are Emily Toy (Carlyon Bay) and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe). 
 
Humphreys, 15, is targeting her first major women’s title, to add to an impressive portfolio of victories in international girls’ golf and prestigious scratch events. They include last year’s English U16 girls’ championship, this year’s Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and a win in the Astor Salver.
 
“I like being in contention,” said Humphreys, from Stoke-by-Nayland in Essex. “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, it will be good.” 
 
Today she had two equal halves, with a birdie and a bogey in each, but came off the course a little disappointed. Although she was very consistent and recovered well from any wild shots she couldn’t get a birdie run going.  But there was the compensation of signing off with another fine par three on the testing 18th. 
 
She’s being chased by players with great pedigree. Clyburn and Lamb were both in England’s winning team at last weekend’s European championship. Allen helped England to victory in the same event last year. Toy is a past winner of the English girls’ championship and recently won the R&A Foundation Scholars’ tournament
 
Meanwhile, Alice Hewson was one of the day’s biggest movers with her three-under 69 propelling her 32 places into a share of ninth. Hewson has now helped England to consecutive European team championships and her first round 80 owed something to the draining effects of last weekend’s win and to making adjustments to a very different course. But today she was back on her stride, shooting the low round of the championship so far. 
 
“I was tired yesterday and the official practice day was the first time I had seen the course. It’s very, very different to Modena (the Portugal course where the Europeans were played). 
 
“There you could hit straight at the pin and the ball would stop dead, here you have to allow 10 or 15 yards of run. But today I was clicking on a couple of cylinders,” said Hewson, who chipped in on 12 and had three more birdies on the way in. “I can go into tomorrow with slightly more confidence!” she added. 
 
At the end of today’s play exactly 40 players qualified for tomorrow’s final two rounds, with the cut falling on 12-over. 
 
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