Lottie Woad impresses on day one of the British Women's Amateur
Lottie Woad (Royal and Ancient Photo)
Lottie Woad (Royal and Ancient Photo)

Lottie Woad made an impressive start in her bid to claim The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship title as she shared the first round lead at a windswept Portmarnock in round one.

The world number one and Augusta National Women’s Amateur Champion produced a three-under-par round of 69 at the famous links north of Dublin to match the mark set earlier in the day by the USA’s Farah O’Keefe.

Woad, who finished tied 23rd at the Chevron Championship in April in and then competed in the US Women’s Open last month, demonstrated her experience of links golf and her ability to control the ball in strong, gusting winds by producing four birdies and dropping just a single shot on the 17th.

A solid start by Woad

“The back nine was pretty tough with the wind so I was just trying to hit the greens and make pars,” said the 20-year-old Woad. “This is my first time playing here. It’s really good. It played a lot different to the practice round with the wind. It was pretty still yesterday and a lot easier. Today I had a lot longer clubs into the holes.

“I wanted it windy. I feel like we are a lot more used to this and are playing in it all the time so I’m happy the wind came.

“I’m just trying to keep playing solid and then restart for match play.”

O’Keefe capitalized fully on calmer morning conditions to set the early clubhouse lead. The 19-year-old from Austin, Texas, made her move with a birdie threes on the 9th and the 11th and then birdied two of the last three holes with the only blemish on her card coming with a bogey on the 17th.

O’Keefe, who is ranked 35th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) and will play as part of the United States team in next month’s Arnold Palmer Cup at Lahinch, praised the guidance she received from her caddie.

Smart links golf

“It’s really links golf, and you need to know where to hit the ball and where to miss the ball especially,” she said. “This morning, when we were teeing off number one, it was still, and there was no wind. I totally got the right side of the draw in that respect. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to shoot the same score tomorrow just because of the wind. It’s significant, there is a big difference. With the wind picking up some of the par fours are playing like par fives and some of the par fives are playing like par fours.

“It’s missing it on all the right spots, making sure I don’t make too many big numbers, keeping the bogeys off the card and letting the birdies chances fall in and not forcing anything to happen. Tomorrow is another opportunity to go learn some more about the golf course and maybe dial it in a little bit. That’s my goal for tomorrow, just keep it simple, miss it in the right spaces and don’t get too far ahead of myself.”

Top field at Portmarnock

This is one of the strongest fields in the history of The Women’s Amateur with four players in the top ten of the WAGR and 21 in the top 50.

Two shots back from the leaders was another top 25 player in Meja Ortengren, from Sweden, who carded a one-under-par round of 71. The semi-finalist in last year’s R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship at Ganton is on the same mark as 18-year-old Savannah De Bock from Belgium.

English hopes Euphemie Rhodes and Isla McDonald-O’Brien are on level par alongside Anne-Sterre den Dunnen from the Netherlands, Caitlyn Macnab from South Africa and the USA's Megan Propeck.

The 144-strong field will take part in the second round of stroke play stage on Tuesday 25 June with 64 players advancing to the match play stage from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 June.

Results: Ladies British Amateur
WinNYMelanie GreenMedina, NY1500
Runner-upScotlandLorna McClymontScotland1000
SemifinalsDenmarkMarie MadsenDenmark700
SemifinalsSwedenLouise RydqvistSweden700
QuarterfinalsINAnnabelle PancakeZionsville, IN500

View full results for Ladies British Amateur

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.

View Complete Tournament Information

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