Ladies British Amateur: Hedberg leads

PORTRUSH, COUNTY ANTRIM, Ireland (June 8, 2011) -- Spanish Champion Camilla Hedberg leads qualifiers with eight-under 140

Sweden’s Nathalie Mansson shot 10 birdies for a super score of seven-under-par 67 in the second qualifying round of the Ladies British open amateur championship on another wind-free day on the Royal Portrush links on the Northern Ireland coastline today.

But in the morning’s perfect conditions for low scoring that fine effort still did not give her the top seed role among the 64 qualifiers for the match-play stages.

Just after 1pm Camilla Hedberg, recent winner of the Spanish women’s (close) amateur championship tagged a five-under-par 69 on to her first-day 71 and so set the clubhouse target of eight-under-par 140. It was still unchallenged when the eliminating contest ended before 8pm.

Nathalie Mansson had held the lead on five-under 143, having improved by nine shots on her Tuesday score of 76.Late in the day Sweden’s Louise Kristersson birdied the last four holes for a 69 for a total of 142, which made her the No 2 qualifier.

The 20-year-old from near Malmo said she putted well after the bad weather squall of wind and rain passed over. Hitting the links at about 2pm, it suddenly made conditions a bit of a trial for those halfway through their rounds. It led to two No Returns and a sudden deterioration in scores.

First round leader Minjee Lee (Australia) was one of those who could not reproduce her Tuesday brilliance. She sagged from a 68 to an 80 for 148. Starting with a quadruple bogey 8 must be hard for a 15-year-old to cope with at the best of times.

Louise Kristersson explained why she was so please to finish in a blaze of glory, metaphorically speaking.“I have not been picked for Sweden’s European team so that gave me the motivation for my four birdies at the end. The national coach just arrived to watch me” said Louise who is making her debut in the British championship.So Mansson, despite her 67, was pushed down to the status of No 3 seed on 143.

On 144 came Germany’s top 10 world ranked Sophia Popov who had a 73 today,Christine Wong (Canada) with a 71 and the World No 1 female amateur, Lydia Ko from New Zealand. The Kiwi 14-year-old shot a 73 with an inward half of 38.Camilla Hedberg, whose Swedish dad married a Spanish lady, is 18 years old and bound for the University of Florida in the autumn.

She put herself in the mood to break 70 with an eagle 3 at the 476yd fifth where she drilled a five-wood second to within 4ft of the flagstick.

Her only dropped shot came two holes later where she used her putter from off the green but took three shots to cover the undulating round for a bogey 5.After that she covered the last 14 holes in four under par with birdies at the long seventh, 12th, 15th and long 17th in halves of 35 and 34.Pinpoint accuracy with her approach shots were the key to her success. Her longest holed putt was a 15-footer on the 17th were she missed the green at this par-5 hole with a three-wood second, “chipped badly” but got a birdie 4 by holing her puttNathalie Mansson’s scorecard of 32 (five under par) and 35 (two under) shaved a shot off Tuesday’s best of 68 returned by Minjee Lee from Australia.

“I had only 24 putts, including one three-putt green,” said the 22-year-old blonde from Stockholm, who has one more year of eligibility to play golf for the University of Tennessee.“Her birdies came at the first, second, fourth, eighth, ninth, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th with several putts around the 18 to 20ft mark dropping for her.

Astonishingly in such a low round, Mansson had a double bogey – a 6 at the par-4 13th where she got an unlucky bounce off a sprinkler head at the edge of the green and her ball ricocheted over the green and into a bush.“I finished up having to take a penalty drop for an unplayable lie,” said Nathalie who also had a three-putt bogey at the 16th.Popov, an 18-year-old student at the University of Southern California and “Freshman of the Year” on the US women’s college circuit, had five birdies, four of them at par-5 holes. Although Sophia required two more shots than she had in the first round, generally it appeared as if the standard of scoring had improved on another day when the course had no defence against the long and straight hitters who, like Nathalie, could also hole the putts.

Popov’s birdies came at the second, seventh, eighth, 17th and 18th in halves of 36 and 37. She bogeyed the first, fourth, 11th and 16th.Curtis Cup player Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) packed an eagle and six birdies into her round of 70 for a total of 145.She had the eagle 3 at the second hole, having dropped a shot at the first and then holed a 30ft putt for a 2 at the short third.Driving the ball long and straight, Holly birdied the five remaining par-5 holes – the seventh, ninth, 10th, 17th and 18th in halves of 35.

“Actually it was my putting that improved the most from the first round. I spent a lot of time on the practice putting green after my 75 on Tuesday and it paid off today,” said Holly.Rising English star, 15-year-old Charley Hull (Woburn) qualified with no problems, adding a 72 to her opening 74. Also on that mark, Wales’ Amy Boulden with a 72 today, and the World No 2 from New Zealand, Cecilia Cho wit a 75.Leona Maguire improved from a 78 to a 70 on the second circuit.

“I couldn’t hit the fairways on Tuesday and seemed to spend most of my time pitching out of the rough,” said the 16-year-old Curtis Cup twin.“I used a three wood off the tee quite a lot today but I was hitting the ball straighter,” she said.Leona birdied the second, third, eighth, ninth and 13th in halves of 33 and 37.Twin sister Lisa had a 72 for 147.

The host club has two players among the match-play qualifiers – Stephanie Meadow with a 76 for 150 and Charlene Reid with a 77 for 153.Both of last year’s finalists, defending champion Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) and Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) made it through to the match-play again. Kelly had a 72 for 149, Kelsey a 74 for 152.

Results For Ladies British Open Amateur Championship
WinEnglandLauren TaylorEngland1500
Runner-upFranceAlexandra BonettiFrance1000
SemifinalsWalesAmy BouldenWales700
SemifinalsEnglandKelly TidyEngland700
QuarterfinalsSouth AfricaKim WilliamsSouth Africa500

View full results for Ladies British Open Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE Ladies British Amateur

This championship, along with the US Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, is considered the most important in women’s amateur golf.

The first stage of the Championship involves 144 players each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes will compete in the match play stage of the Championship. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes, including the Final.

The ‘Pam Barton Memorial Salver’ is awarded to the winner of the Championship, while the runner-up receives The Diana Fishwick Cup. An international team award is presented after the stroke play qualifying rounds.

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