It’s 11 years since a Scot – Heather Stirling – won the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Amateur Stroke-Play Championship at Troon and, at the end of the first day of this year’s 54-hole tournament, the prospects of a home winner are only fair.
Carnoustie’s Ailsa Summers and Jane Turner (Craigielaw) kept alive a glimmer of hope with rounds of one-under-par 74 and 75 respectively, which will see them start their second round over Troon Portland in joint-sixth and joint-tenth positions.
England and Ireland competitors are hogging the leading positions on a day when highly-ranked players such as Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), No 6 in the world, defending champion Amy Boulden (Conway) and Bronte Law (Bramhall) could not match the par of 75. Hall and Boulden returned 76s and Law a 77.
Rotherham youngster Olivia Winning established a useful two-stroke lead with an outstanding score of five-under-par 70 (34-36). She birdied the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, 11th and 12th and was heading for a sub-70 score until her one and only bogey popped up at the 16th. She leads from Northern Ireland’s Jessica Carty (Holywood), Poppy Finlay (Vicars Cross) and Ireland’s Maria Dunne (Skerries) from Co Dublin, all on the 72 mark.
Summers, 19, bogeyed the short 14th and 17th while Turner dropped shots at her last two holes.