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Cheshire's Charlotte Wild holds halfway lead in English strokeplay
3rd August 2011

championship Cheshire's Charlotte Wild is eight-under par and leads by one stroke at the halfway stage of the English women's open strokeplay championship at Alwoodley, Leeds.

The event is sponsored by Tourism Ireland. She played two-under par today and is being chased by 15-year-old Charley Hull of Woburn, who is 20th on the women's world amateur rankings.

Charley shot today's low round of four-under 69 and is seven-under for the tournament. The two players will be paired together for tomorrow's final 36 holes and Charlotte, who won this title in 2009, commented: "I'm looking forward to it and it will be good to play with Charley. She's a good player."

Charlotte, 21, (Mere) added a two-under 71 to her opening 67 and said: "I was pleased with that. It's always hard to go and shoot another six-under and I just wanted to have a steady round. "I played pretty much as I did in the first round, but a couple of putts stayed on the lip and I didn't get up and down a couple of times. But I made enough birdies to allow for a few mistakes."

Once again, she took advantage of the par fives, with birdies on three and an eagle on another. She finished in style, with birdies on the last three holes. Charley, by contrast, felt she didn't make the most of the five par fives, although she birdied two of them. However, she had six birdies altogether, including three on consecutive holes from the fifth. The final day promises to produce exciting golf.

Poised behind the leading pair are three players on three-under: Charlotte Ellis (Minchinhampton), Becky Harries (Haverfordwest) and Melissa Siviter (Enville). Meanwhile 2010 British champion Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) shot a three-under 70 and shares sixth place with Tara Watters (Muswell Hill) on one-under par.

The leading Yorkshire players are Sophie Godley (Lindrick) and Emma Brown (Malton & Norton) who share 12th place on two-over. Other county players to make the cut are Ellie Robinson (Middlesborough), Charlotte Austwick (Fulford), Carley Warrington (Sickleholme) and Sara Garbutt (Ganton).

This afternoon's play was suspended for almost an hour when thunder and lightning swept the course but, for the most of the day, conditions were very warm and sunny. After today's round the leading 36 players and ties qualified for tomorrow's final 36 holes.

Forty players qualified and the cut fell at seven-over par.

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Charlotte Wild shoots 67 to lead English Strokeplay Championship
3rd August 2011

Charlotte Wild ( Photo learderboardphotography.com & EWGA)

Cheshire's Charlotte Wild shot a superb six-under 67 to take a three-shot lead after the first round of the English open strokeplay championship at Alwoodley, Leeds. The event is sponsored by Tourism Ireland.

She heads a highly competitive leaderboard with nine players under par, while four more returned level par scores.

Charlotte's closest challenger is Charley Hull, 15, (Woburn) who eagled the last for a three-under 70.

One shot further back is a group of six players on two-under: Dulcie Sverdloff (Thorpe Hall), Sophie Godley (Lindrick), Elizabeth Haycock (Moseley), Tara Watters (Muswell Hill), Emilee Taylor (Holme Hall) and Melissa Siviter (Enville). Charlotte Ellis (Minchinhampton) also beat par with one-under 72. 

Charlotte Wild, who won this title in 2009, had just one bogey in her round - on the first hole, which she three-putted. "After that I got my head down," she said.

The 21-year-old from Mere went on to shoot the lowest score of her career so far and she remarked;

"It was the perfect start, now I'll see what tomorrow brings. I've felt that this was coming for a while because I've been playing well but just not scoring well."

She's invested much effort over the past week in her long game and she was rewarded when she hit fairways and greens, with birdies on all the par fives except one - which she eagled.

"This course is good and it suits me because you have to drive it straight. It's also quite hard running, which I like too."

Charlotte played two equal halves of three-under par. On the way out made the most of the three par fives, with a birdie on the third, an eagle on the fourth - where she hit her second shot to within 3ft of the hole - and a birdie on the eighth.

Coming home she holed a four-footer for a birdie two on the 14th, before scoring two-putt birdies on the 16th and 18th, both par fives. "I knew everyone would be getting birdies on the par fives, so I made sure I did as well," she said.

Charlotte's score displaced 16-year-old Dulcie Sverdloff from the top of the leaderboard. She's playing in the event for the first time, set the early pace with a two-under 71 and finished the day in a share of third place.

"I love the golf course," said Dulcie. "I've been coming into a bit of form and I hit my irons really well. I wasn't hitting my driver that great but I was hitting greens and my short game was really tight." She proved it with a birdie on the par four 12 where she chipped out of thick rough beside the green and holed the shot.

Dulcie is one of a number of Essex youngsters who are on great form at the moment. Gabriella Cowley (West Essex) won the English U15 championship last week while club colleague Sophie Madden has just won her age group in the US Kids Teen World Championship.

"We're coming through and it's great when you come to these big events and realise our county is doing really well," said Dulcie.

Meanwhile, Rachel Drummond (Beaconsfield) had her first hole-in-one on the 140-yard seventh, where her eight iron shot took one bounce and disappeared into the cup. It was part of an eventful round, as she explained afterwards.

"I had one of the strangest rounds of golf today," she said. "I had a bit of everything. I had a hole-in-one, a double and a triple bogey and a penalty shot on a hole where I hit myself - and I finished on level par!

"I was hitting it well, it was just that some crazy things happened."  Her score put in a share of tenth place, alongside Katie Mundy (Dunwood Manor), Jerry Lawrence (Rochester & Cobham Park) and Becky Harries (Haverfordwest).

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