Senior Women’s Stroke Play – Day One: Williamson leads the way

“Team Williamson” took the honours on day one of the English Senior Women’s Stroke Play with daughter and caddie Amelia helping put mum Tracey on top of the leaderboard.

Williamson’s three-under par score of 71 gave the Sheringham golfer a one-shot lead over Bromborough’s Caroline Berry.

Berry’s round included three birdies and just one bogey – marking her down as a real contender with 36 holes still to play over the next two days at Hayling Golf Club in Hampshire.

Irish international Laura Webb, debutant Sally Shayler and Sale’s Catherine Rawthore are a further shot back on one-under par.

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For the Williamsons (main image) it was a fun day in the sun and relative plain sailing on the south coast with mother and daughter dovetailing nicely.

Amelia – a current England women’s squad player and part of the golf team at Florida State University – would have loved to have been out on the links herself.

Instead, her role this week is to support mum, cook and clean up at their rented accommodation and reverse roles from what normally happens when she is the player in the thick of the action!

“Amelia is definitely head chef this week, “joked Tracey after a round which started with birdies at the opening two holes.

“My caddie was very good – she’s a calming influence on me.

“I’ve come close before so, hopefully, maybe this is the year. Two more solid rounds and I might have a chance.”

Amelia was quick to pass all the praise to her mum who has spent time working on her iron play and watched it pay dividends when it mattered most.

“Full credit to mum,” confirmed Amelia.

“She hit some brilliant iron shots and is hitting them further than ever before.

“I’d rather be playing and was itching to play, but it’s not often I get to caddie or watch mum play and it’s quite exciting.”

No-one in the field was able to fire more birdies than Williamson – six in total – as she made hay in the calmer morning conditions before the breeze stiffened for the afternoon players including second-placed Berry (pictured below).

England Golf events clearly bring out the best in Williamson’s game, however. In two previous senior championships – at Enville in 2019 and last year at Frilford Heath – Williamson has netted a hole-in-one on each occasion!

Hayling – a stunning links venue – lived up to its reputation as a fair, but challenging track on a day when the wind off the Channel and warm sunshine made scoring tricky.

Webb, an Irish international and current senior women’s captain, coped well with the challenges and is well in the hunt after a one-under par round.

Her scorecard was boosted by a brilliant birdie-eagle-birdie run from the fifth hole.

“I actually didn’t hit the ball as well as I’d have liked to, but I’ll take it and see what the next two days brings,” admitted Webb, playing out of East Berkshire Golf Club.

Shayler, meanwhile, heaped praise on her caddie for helping her stay focused.

“Jenny is a star, “added Shayler who is making her debut in this seniors event. “She employed the right psychology to keep me going and I putted well which makes all the difference.”

Meanwhile, local knowledge helped Alison Holland take a first round lead in the 36-hole  handicap section with a five-under par net score of 69.

Photography credit: Leaderboard