South West players shine in the rain

Sarah Jane Boyd

South West to the fore! Cornwall’s Sarah-Jane Boyd shot two-under 70 to take the halfway lead in the English women’s amateur championship, while Devon’s Emma Tayler fired the lowest score so far with 69.

Sarah-Jane, who is the British stroke play champion (image © Leaderboard Photography), is one-under for 36 holes and leads 32 qualifiers for tomorrow’s final two rounds at Kings Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire.  Overnight co-leader Gabriella Cowley lies second with a level par total for the two rounds while Emma Tayler’s score moved her up into third place.

Such results seemed most unlikely at the start of day. Heavy overnight rain meant play was delayed for an hour and the morning was notable for downpours, wind and chilly temperatures. But the green keepers produced the course in fine condition and, by dint of strategic squeegeeing, they kept play moving.

“The weather was awful on the front nine,” said Sarah-Jane, from Truro. “But everyone was facing the same conditions and I just kept going. I quite enjoy playing in the wind and rain and, coming from Cornwall, I’m used to it.”

The 21-year-old started on the 10th hole and had five birdies in her round – including three in a row from the second – and her putt for 69 died on the lip on her last hole. “The greens were hardly affected by the rain and putted nicely – they were a credit to the staff,” she said.

Emma Tayler (Saunton,pictured left, image © Leaderboard Photography) echoed her praise: “It’s a lovely golf course and it’s in absolutely fantastic condition. The greens are receptive and rolling nicely.”

Her target, standing on the first tee, was regulation golf in the difficult conditions – but she exceeded that. Six straight pars were followed by three consecutive birdies from the seventh, including a chip-in on the eighth. She had her only bogey of the round on the 10th, but reclaimed the shot with a birdie two on the 14th.

“I’ve been playing really good golf and today the putts started falling,” said Emma, 26. She spent five years at university in the USA and is devoting this season to full-time golf with the target of finishing in the top 10 in the order of merit.

Gabriella Cowley, 17, (Brocket Hall) fared differently on the green. “I hit the ball really well, probably the best I have this season, but the putts just wouldn’t drop,” she commented after she signed for a one-over 73. “But it’s all to play for tomorrow.”

She shared the first round lead with English stroke play champion Alex Peters (Notts Ladies’) who now lies fourth after a second round 77.

Four players share fifth place, including 14-year-old Sammy Fuller (Roehampton) who, like Jerry Lawrence (Rochester & Cobham Park), scored one-over 73 today.
Among the other youngsters to make the cut is 13-year-old Hollie Muse of West Lancashire, the reigning English U13 champion.

There was disappointment, however, for Kings Norton players, Charlotte Dalton and Debbie Warren, who both missed the cut – with Charlotte missing out by just one shot.

Qualifying scores
Par 72 CSS 76 77
143 Sarah Jane Boyd (Truro) 73 70
144 Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) 71  73
146 Emma Tayler (Saunton) 77 69
148 Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) 71 77
150 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton) 77 73, Jerry Lawrence (Rochester & Cobham Park) 77 73, Aimee Ponte (Royal Guernsey) 74 76, Hannah Moul (Stoke-by-Nayland) 74 76
151 Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) 77 74,  Poppy Finlay (Vicars Cross) 76 75, Chelsea Masters (Highwoods, Bexhill) 75 76, Charlotte Pilkington (Southport & Ainsdale) 75 76, Samantha Meese (South Staffs) 75 76, Aimee Wilson (Mickleover) 74 77
152 Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) 75 77
153 Jessica Wilcox (Blankney) 74 79, Sophie Keech (Lyme Regis) 72 81,
155 Charlotte Thompson (Channels) 79  76, Joanne Hodge (The Kendleshire) 79    76, Daisy MacVe (Surrey National) 78 77, Emily Coleman (Trentham) 77 78, Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) 76 79
156 Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) 78 78, Dulcie Sverdloff (Garon Park) 78 78, Shelby Smart (Knowle), 77 79
157 Lucy Goddard (Mid Herts) 81 76, Emma Newlove (Beeston Fields) 80  77, Abigail Laker (Frilford Heath) 79  78, Rachael Goodall (Heswall) 78 79, Bethany Garton (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 77 80, Emily Slater (Woodhall Spa) 77 80, Florence King (Rothley Park) 76  81