Cowley leads first round of English Women’s Amateur Championship

PUBLISHED: 17:23 14 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:28 14 May 2013

BROCKET Hall Golf Club’s Gabriella Cowley and Notts Ladies’ Alex Peters topped the leaderboard following day one of the English Women’s Amateur Championship at Kings Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire.

Both shot a one-under par 71 to stand one clear of Dorset’s Sophie Keech, with British stroke play champion Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) a further stroke behind.

The duo were at the top of a tightly packed leaderboard and their impressive scoring brightened a cold, grey day which grew steadily wetter as the hours passed.

The course won many compliments, but it tested the players with its long par fours and water features, which proved particularly challenging on the 16th and 17th.

Cowley signed off her round with a birdie four on the 18th – thanks to an excellent up and down from the greenside bunker – and commented on her round: “It’s a really good start, it’s all about putting yourself in a good position.”

Her round started slowly, with an early three putt and a miss from four feet.

But she picked up the pace when she birdied the par five fourth, having hit the green with an eight iron for her second shot. “That gave me some momentum,” said the 17-year-old.

More birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th – where she almost holed her third shot - took Cowley to two-under, before she dropped shots on the 16th and 17th.

In her case, it was the trees which proved costly. She struck straight back with her final hole birdie and said: “I was glad I got it because I felt my play deserved it.”

All competitors will play the second round of the championship tomorrow (Wednesday).

After that the field will be cut to the leading 32 players and ties who will play the final 36 holes on Thursday.

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