Cornwall’s Sammie Giles shot an impressive three-under par to lead the 32 qualifiers for the match play stages of the English women’s open mid-amateur championship at Bath Golf Club.
English amateur champion Sarah-Jane Boyd – also from Cornwall – also beat par in the afternoon with a second round of one-under 71. It gave her a level par total for the day and she comfortably claimed the second qualifying place.
Devon’s Jess Bradley, who reached the final of this event three years ago, was third.
Other qualifiers include Somerset’s Amanda Mayne – the runner-up in the recent English senior women’s stroke play – and Gloucestershire’s Bethan Popel and Shelby Smart.
Sammie (image © Leaderboard Photography) returned level par 72 in the morning round and declared during the lunch break: “There’s definitely a chance to go a few lower this afternoon.” Then, she proved herself right when she came in with a three-under 69.
The 19-year-old from St Mellion has played at Bath on several previous occasions in their prestigious women’s scratch event, but she’s never managed to master the greens. Until today.
“I’ve putted much better, I’ve struggled on the greens in the past because they’re really slopey, but I seem to have got their measure today,” she said. “I played really well, my short game was good and I didn’t hit it into trouble.”
Sammie started with a birdie this afternoon and added more on the 10th, 15th and 18th – dropping just one shot, on the par four 16th where, uncharacteristically, she failed to get up and down.
She’s now the top seed for the match play – but she refuses to be excited by the accolade. “I don’t think it really matters as long as you get through. You can qualify 32nd and still win, it’s completely open once you get through.”
She added: “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll go and get some food and a good night’s sleep and see how it goes!”
Her opponent in tomorrow’s first round is Sophie Stone of Studley Wood in Oxfordshire, who qualified in 32nd place.
Second seed Sarah-Jane Boyd will take on Emily Mae Hall of Nottinghamshire. “I’m looking forward to the matchplay, it’ll be a change from all the stroke play that we have. You can go for it a bit more,” said Sarah-Jane.
She completed her 36 holes of qualifying with a feeling of frustration. “There was lots left in the tank, I had so many chances out there inside 10ft,” she said. However, she also played some super-accurate shots, knocking a couple of approaches to within a foot of the hole. “I played steadily, hitting lots of fairways and greens,” she added.