Mehaffey leads Irish challenge in European Women’s Amateur Championship

Royal County Down golfer six behind the leader after posting an opening 70

Olivia Mehaffey: carded an opening two-under par 70 at the European Women’s Amateur Championship  at Penati in Slovakia. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty

Olivia Mehaffey: carded an opening two-under par 70 at the European Women’s Amateur Championship at Penati in Slovakia. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty

 

Royal County Down Ladies star Olivia Mehaffey once again leads the Irish charge for European Women’s Amateur Championship glory heading into this morning’s second round at Penati in Slovakia.

The 20-year-old Curtis Cup player has a decent record at this tournament; bagging bronze in Sweden in 2016 while last year was a top-ten finisher in Switzerland.

Mehaffey made a solid enough start to her latest bid here yesterday with an opening two-under round of 70.

She reached the turn one-under (35) after a birdie at the fifth and followed that up with back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 – and it would have been a faultless round but for a bogey on the last.

That round left world number 21 Mehaffey six strokes back on German Esther Henseleit, who holed eight birdies on her way to a stunning 64 to lead by two strokes from Sweden’s Frida Kinhult (66).

Meanwhile, three birdies in four holes from the 13th was the highlight for Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson as she opened with a one-under 71.

Wilson had a difficult start, as she dropped two strokes at the fifth and then had a bogey at the sixth, but recovered with a birdie on seven before that hat-trick of birdies on her back nine.

Forrest Little’s Julie McCarthy and Lisburn’s Paula Grant both signed for a level par 72 as did defending champion Agathe Laisne from France.

Jessica Ross from Clandeboye was one-under through 14 but finished on 75 after bogeys on the final four holes.

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