Girl international Lily May Humphreys shot two under par 70 to lead the first round of the English women’s amateur championship at Lindrick, Yorkshire.
She’s a stroke ahead of Sophie Lamb and Gemma Clews, who are just back from Portugal where they helped England become European team champions at the weekend.
Humphreys – who was also in action in Europe, helping the girls’ team to win a bronze medal – was on top form as she powered to the turn in three-under par.
The back nine, played in a strengthening wind, was trickier. But when Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland) found trouble she recovered well with some good up and downs – and when she lost a ball on the 16th she made a birdie with her provisional for a ‘good bogey’.
“I’m pleased with the round, I think I played consistently,” said the 15-year-old who recently won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, to add to a host of titles amassed in 2016.
Lamb (Clitheroe) and Clews (Delamere Forest) both admitted to tiredness after the demands of the European championship and arriving back on Sunday evening after a flight delay – and both cut their championship preparations short.
Lamb decided on an hour on the range instead of a practice round, remarking: “I was just golfed out. “I turned up on the tee today, guessing a bit about what to hit. But it worked out well.”
After eight holes, she was four under par thanks to two birdies and an eagle. “I was really hot, my iron play was really good and I was rolling in the putts,” said Lamb, who is the British stroke play champion.
But as the wind got up she had some bad bounces, one of which led to a lost ball on the 12th. However, despite some dropped shots she also birdied 14 and 16.
Clews played just nine holes in practice and relied on the lessons learned during a recent England squad practice on the course. “It was a good score considering!” she said “I grafted out the score despite not having my best game.”
The Welsh stroke play champion finished in style with three birdies in the last five holes. “Towards the end I gave myself a bit of a talking to,” she reported.
Two shots further back on one-over is India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) and Emma Allen (Meon Valley). Clyburn was another member of the winning European team while Allen was in the side that won the gold medal last year.