Clews shares England lead at West Lancs

INTERNATIONALS Gemma Clews and Amelia Williamson head a tightly packed leaderboard after the first round of the English women’s amateur championship at West Lancs.

gemma clews

ACTION GIRL:Cheshire’s Gemma Clews  Leaderboard Photography

They both shot two-under par 72 and are being chased by a group of four players on one-under and a further five on level par.

Clews, from Delamere Forest, was first to set the target on a breezy day – but which seemed calm compared to the 50mph winds of the practice day.

“I played really solid, kept it on the short stuff and didn’t really make any mistakes,” said Clews, who helped England to Women’s Home Internationals victory in 2015.

“I felt pretty frustrated on the greens because I missed quite a lot of putts for birdie. But overall it’s a good start.”

She reached the turn today in level par and then worked her way home with great accuracy in the winds, positioning her drives to leave a good shot in to the green and was rewarded with birdies on 14 and 15.  

Before long she was joined on two-under by 16-year-old Williamson, from Royal Cromer in Norfolk. She’s just back from the European girls’ team championships and fresh from retaining her title as the English schools’ champion, with a seven-under par total.

Today she had five birdies in her round, helped by her ability to hit the par fives in two. She also scrambled well, with a chip-in on the seventh and holing a 30ft putt on the13th, to save par on both occasions.

This is the second time she’s played in this championship. Last year, she says, was for experience, this year “it’s different.”

The group on one-under includes Lizzie Prior (Burhill), who helped England’s women to win the European team championship at the weekend, and Lancashire’s Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) who started with an eagle three on the first. Katrina Gillum (Lilleshall Hall) and Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe) also returned scores of 73.

Cloe Frankish (Chart Hills) – the runner-up in the recent English women’s match play championship – is among the players on level par.

The West Lancs home challenge is led by international Hollie Muse who is one of eight players to score one-over 75.

Defending champion Bronte Law (Bramhall) withdrew from the championship after playing a key role in England’s European triumph at the weekend. She has also recently helped GB&I to win the Curtis Cup and told organisers that she realised she needed rest. “This is not an easy decision for me,” she said, adding: “This tournament means a lot to me and I want to wish all the girls the best for the week,” she said.


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