R&A: British Women’s Amateur matchplay preview

High-profile England-Scotland battle stands out in first round match-ups

R&A: Tuesday June 7th

Sixty-four of the best amateurs in Europe will do battle in the first round of the British Amateur Championship at Barassie Links (Kilmarnock) GC tomorrow with the strokeplay qualification throwing up some fascinating ties.

While Covid restrictions have meant many of the top European stars have not been able to make it over, the event has still attracted a high-class field with in-form American-based Icelandic star Ragnhildur Kristinsdottir leading the way on six under. 

Arguably the tie of the round is the England-Scotland battle between the much-fancied Cornwall player Emily Toy, who won the title two years ago at Royal County Down, and experienced former Scotland Amateur champion Clara Young, who showed her class with a second placed finish in the St Rule Trophy last month while last week she reached the semi-final of her national championship.

Last year’s runner-up Annabell Fuller (Roehampton) qualified in an impressive sixth-place (-1) and the England Amateur Strokeplay champion will retain her status as favourite. She faces England Girls champion Davina Xanh (Mendip Spring), who finished second at the Welsh Open at the end of last month.

The youngest player in the field also made it through comfortably. Woburn’s Roisin Scanlon, who won’t be 14 until September, carded a 75 and 77 to ease herself into the knockout stages in 24th. Her first round opponent is supremely-consistent Leicestershire player Jessica Bailey (Kirby Muxloe).

One shot better in the strokeplay standings, that were completed today, was the precocious 15-year-old from Close House Maggie Whitehead. She overcame a second-round wobble to finish a highly-creditable 22nd and now faces Kent teenager Ellena Slater.

There are also two pretty tasty-looking all England match-ups in the bottom half of the draw. England squuad member Hannah Screen (Berkhamsted), who finished fourth at the Big 12 Women’s Collegiate Championship at the end of April, meets 2019 English strokeplay champion Rebecca Earl (Bishops Stortford) while the highly-rated Cheshire champion Bel Wardle (Prestbury) meets another England squad member Jessica Baker (Gosforth Park Ladies).

The last 16 and quarter-final matches will take place on Thursday, the quarters and semis on Friday and the 36-hole final on Sunday.

Click here to view the full draw

To view all the strokeplay scores click here