|Pamela Pretwell -- Courtesy of Colin Farquharson|
Curtis Cup team selection Pamela Pretswell took up the running in the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship as overnight leaders Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) - also in the GB and I team for Nairn from June 8-10 - and Rachael Goodall (Heswall) failed to follow up their splendid opening efforts of seven-under-par 68 apiece.
In fairness to Leona and Rachael, the conditions today were at least a shot or two more difficult than Friday's bright and not breezy conditions. The inward half, in particular, was not giving up many birdies.
Bothwell Castle's Pretswell, who lives at Hamilton, improved on her first-day 71 by one stroke and a nine-under-par 36-hole tally of nine-under par 141 was good enough to see her take over the clubhouse lead in the early afternoon, a shot ahead of a third Curtis Cup player, Amy Boulden from Wales (70-72), Rachael Goodall (68-74) and France's Perrine Delacour (70-72) who won the British girls open championship at West Lancs GC in 2009.
Leona Maguire fell back with a 75 for 143, the same mark as France's Celine Boutier (71-72), beaten in the final of the British girls open championship at Gullane last August and winner of the French Under-21 open girls title earlier this month.
Pretswell had seven birdies and two bogeys in her five-under 70. Five of her birdies came at the par-5 holes at which some of the top class players are playing short irons to get up in two ... such is the progress in ability and equipment compared with 10 years ago.
Pamela, who had been playing with the lady pros on the Ladies European Tour's developmental circuit (LETAS) to gain experience ahead of her plan to turn pro with a LET players' card in her pocket after the Q School at La Manga next January, looked in good fettle with birdies at the long second, fifth, long sixth, long ninth (out in four-under 34), long 12th, 13th and long 15th towards an inward half of one-under 36.
Well that she is playing, Pamela failed to master Troon Portland's closing holes over the two rounds. She had a double bogey 7 at the last in her first round and she bogeyed the short 14th and par-4 17th in Round 2.
The last Scot to win the "Helen Holm" was Heather Stirling in 2002. Whatever happened to Heather?
Last heard of caddieing in Florida - which is not a bad way to make a living!
Club pro's daughter Amy Boulden from the Conwy club birdied the long second, short eighth, long ninth and 17th in halves of 36. Her only bogey came at the third. Pars only for Amy between the 10th and the 16th, plus the very birdieable par-5 18th underline how difficult it was to improve on a score over the second nine.
Rachael Goodall was another who could not buy a birdie on the inward half until she succeeded at the 18th. The Heswall player had earlier birdied the long first, long sixth and long ninth, but bogeyed the short fourth and seventh, in reaching the turn in one-under 37. A bogey at the 10th put her level par but she had to settle for seven pars in a row before she got that birdie at the 18th for a par-matching 37 home.
Parisienne Perrine Delacour did well to return a three-under 72 considering she had a double bogey 5 at the short fourth and further shots dropped at the seventh and short eighth. She was able to get in out in level par 38, thanks to birdies at the fifth and long sixth, capped by an eagle 3 at the ninth.
Delacour did best of the earlier starters on the inward half which she covered in three-under-par 34 strokes with birdies at three par-5s: the 12th, 15th and 18th.
Last year's British women's open stroke play champion by half a dozen strokes at Royal Ashdown Forest and winner last weekend of the Irish Under-18 girls open stroke-play, again by a very comfortable margin, was grateful to get off the Troon Portland course today with a par-matching 75 because she was three-over for the day with three to play.
Then 17-year-old twin Leona birdied the short 16th, the par-4 18th and the par-5 18th.
Earlier things had not gone their usual smooth way for the +5 player who, at No 8 in the World's female amateur rankings, is the highest in the field (Charley Hull, who is No 4, pulled out before the tournament).
Leona's double bogey 5 at the short fourth was probably a shock to her system but she did get one back with a birdie 4 at the long sixth as she turned in one-over 39. That became two over when she dropped a shot at the short 10th ... and it was three over par when she ran up a 6 at the long 15th.
Then Maguire showed her class with that birdie-birdie-birdie finish. She won this title in 2009. Don't write off her this year, just yet ...
Celine Boutier, on the same 143 mark as Maguire after a three-under 72, was one of those who found the inward half under today's tougher conditions a wee bit frustrating.
Celine had birdie the long sixth and eagled the long ninth to be out in 35 (three under par|). She dropped one at the short 10th but got it back with a birdie at the long 11th, only for the course to hold her to pars over each of the last seven holess.
Curtis Cup reserve Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) is on 146 after a pair of 7
Par 150 (2x75) CSS for Round 1: 77
+Leading 66 and ties at end of Round 2 will play the final round at Royal Troon on Sunday.
141 Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) 71 70
142 Amy Boulden (Conwy) 70 72, Rachael Goodall (Heswall) 68 74, Perrine Delacour (France) 70 72
143 Celine Boutier (France) 71 72, Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) 68 75.
144 Becky Harries (Haverfordwest) 73 71
146 Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) 73 73, Johanna Bjork (Sweden) 75 71, Laura Murray (Alford) 74 72, Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) 73 73
147 Emelie Lundstrom (Sweden) 72 75
148 Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) 72 76, Rachael Taylor (Germany) 72 76
149 Bronte Law (Bramhall) 72 77, Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm) 73 76, Jess Wilcox (Blankney) 73 76, Nastja Banovec (Slovenia) 72 77, Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) 76 73, Daisy Dyer (Chigwell) 76 73
150 Jessica Carty (Holywood) 72 78, Leslie Cloots (Belgium) 75 75
151 Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham) 76 75, Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) 72 79, Nikki Foster (Pleasington) 77 74
152 Gillian O'Leary (Cork) 80 72, Sophie Powell (Manchester) 77 75, Marthe Wold (Norway) 73 79, Alexandra Peters (Notts Ladies) 77 75, Louise Kenney (Pitreavie) 76 76, Gillian Monteith (Portpatrick Dunskey) 78 74, Sara Garbutt (Ganton) 78 74, Alyson McKechin (Elderslie) 76 76, Charlotte Thompson (Channels) 71 81
153 Emma Broze (France) 74 79, Jane Turner (Craigielaw) 74 79, Olivia Winning (Rotherham) 75 78, Natalie Lowe (Styal) 81 72, Elodie Bridenne (France) 80 73
154 Carla Reynolds (Seapoint) 73 81, Charlotte Wild (Mere) 78 76, Katherine O'Connor (Tadmarton Heath) 79 75, Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) 79 75
155 Rachel Drummond (Beaconsfield) 76 79, Brogan Townend (Pleasington) 76 79, Hannah Barwood (Knowle) 77 78, Shelby Smart (Knowle) 77 78
156 Nicole Whitmore (Woburn) 77 79, Kerry Smith (Waterlooville) 75 81, Megan Briggs (Kilmacolm) 78 78, Louise Mernagh (Woodenbridge) 79 77, Alexandra Moisand (France) 74 82, Lucy Simpson Massereene) 73 83, Hannah Grant (Enmore Park) 76 80, Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies) 78 78, Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey) 80 76
157 Ariane Provot (France) 80 77, Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) 78 79, Gemma Bradbury (Cottrell Park) 79 78
158 Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) 81 77, Anna Appert Lund (Sweden) 78 80, Gabrielle Macdonald (Craigielaw) 83 75, Jessica Meek (Carnoustie) 75 83
159 Ellie Robinson (Wilton) 79 80, Katerina Slukova (Czech Rep) 75 84, Clara Young (North Berwick) 81 78, Rachel Walker (Dumfries and Co) 77 82, Bronwyn Davies (Trentham) 78 81, Charlene Reid (Royal Portrush) 79 80, Gill Nutter (Formby Ladies) 79 80
MISSED THE CUT
160 Martine Pow (Selkirk) 81 79, Olivia Hullert (Norway) 80 80, Naomi Edwards (Ganton) 83 77.
161 Kate McIntosh (Broomieknowe) 80 81
162 Ann F Ramsay (Kirriemuir) 85 77, Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies) 77 85, Aedin Murphy (Carlow) 78 84, Faustine Lopez (France) 82 80, Maria Tonnessen (Norway) 81 81
163 Lucy Gould (Bargoed) 79 84, Katie Rule (St Enodoc) 80 83, Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) 80 83.
164 Jade Downes (Oak's) 83 81.
165 Jordana Graham (Southerness) 87 78, Rebecca Wilson (Grange) 81 84
166 Jean O'Driscoll (Muskerry) 80 86, Therese Larsson (Sweden) 77 89
167 Anja Kim (Slovenia) 81 86.
168 Linsey Stevenson (Elie and Earlsferry Ladies) 82 86, Tara MacTaggart (Minto) 82 86, Kimberley Beveridge (Aboyne) 86 82.
170 Daisy Wakelin (Deer Park) 88 82
172 Katie Reid (Monifieth) 82 90, Jacqueline Sneddon (Alyth) 92 80.