Senior Women’s Stroke Play – Day Two: Birdie blitz puts Williamson in command

Tracey Williamson fired off six birdies for the second day in succession to take a commanding five-shot lead into the final round of the English Senior Women’s Stroke Play.

The Sheringham golfer followed an opening score of 71 with a 72 to move to five-under par through 36 holes at Hayling Golf Club in Hampshire.

That impressive two-round total left the rest of the field trailing in her slipstream – with Irish international Laura Webb the closest challenger on level par following rounds of 73 and 75.

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For Williamson – with daughter and England women’s squad player Amelia on the bag – pinpoint iron-play was the secret to her round.

“I’m thrilled,” admitted Williamson. “It was consistent play.

“I can be nothing but happy with that.

“I played some of the par fives a lot better and I hit some really good iron shots which left me three-foot putts for birdie and put me in good stead.”

Incredibly, Williamson also had a hat-trick of three putts in her round! It’s just as well for the rest of the chasing pack that she was so generous.

“It could’ve been better,” she confirmed.

“The greens today were a fraction trickier and a dead weight was hard to get from a distance. You have to take the good with the bad sometimes.”

One of those three putts came at the first hole when she seemed odds-on to make birdie.

However, nerves were calmed with a birdie at the second and further shots were picked up at the sixth and ninth.

Another birdie putt dropped at the 12th before two more at 16 and 17. A final birdie effort on the last hole burned the edge of the cup.

Now the task for Williamson is to produce more of the same and claim a wire-to-wire victory.

“I’ll just go out and do what I’ve done the last two days and hopefully get a similar result,” she added.

Joining Williamson in the final group tomorrow will be a woman who is no stranger to the winner’s circle.

Webb (pictured above)  – a member at East Berkshire but originally from Northern Ireland – has previously won her own national title at girls’, women’s and senior women’s level.

She has also won the British Seniors title on two occasions so will not give up on the prospect of an English crown to add to her CV.

“I’m very happy,” commented Webb after grinding out a one-over par round of 75.

“It was hard work despite the fact the weather is glorious and there’s not too much wind.

“I found it tough and it was a very good round scrambling.”

Webb has the mentality to go for her shots – as was proved with a brilliant tee shot at 13 which found the green and set up a two-putt birdie.

“If I keep playing like I am then I’d like to think I have a good chance,” she said.

When asked about her record of victories, Webb added: “It means I know how to win. If I can keep my head together I have as good a chance as anyone.”

It’s hard to see a winner emerging from beyond the final pairing of Williamson and Webb, but Fiona Edmond, sitting at +1 and six shots back in third spot, cannot be discounted.

After the 36-hole cut, a total of 47 players will tee it up on the final day with the leading duo heading out at 11.28am.

In the handicap event, there was joy for the host club with Alison Holland (pictured above) claiming victory.

Playing off a course handicap of 14, the member at Hayling Ladies’ Golf Club won by three shots with a net total of three-under par.

Photography: Leaderboard