Huddersfield's Heath in early contention in English women's open amateur

HUDDERSFIELD'S Charlotte Heath lies sixth after the first round of the English women's open amateur championship at Coventry.

English womens open amateur championship first-round leader Isabella Holpfer (Picture: Leaderboard Photography).

Heath, who reached the semi-finals of the girls’ British Open amateur championship at Ardglass last week, shot a level-par 73.

The England under-16 international already has three impressive victories to her name this summer having defended her Pleasington Putter title after wins in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the English Schools Golf Association girls’ championship.

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Her birdie at the 17th at Coventry, her third of the round, left her seven back of Austria’s Isabella Holpfer, the girl who defeated her in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Lindrick’s Nicola Slater, the English women’s open match play champion, is three shots back of Yorkshire team-mate Heath.

She had five birdies in her round, but also five bogeys plus a triple at the fourth.

Woodsome Hall’s Melissa Wood got off to a fine start by birdieing the first, but followed with five bogeys in the eight remaining holes to the turn.

However, Wood showed admirable grit by playing the homeward run in level par.

Two further Huddersfield players, Georgia Holden and Megan Lockett, scored 81 and 82 respectively while Hessle’s Jess Smee carded an 83.

Holpfer’s opening round of 66 included two eagles and gave her a six-shot lead over England’s Caley McGinty, Cara Kelly, Mimi Rhodes and Lucy Jamieson.

“I think I just had a good rhythm and I was confident on my shot and I pretty much hit every green,” said the 17-year-old, who was runner-up in the British girls’ championship at the weekend.

Earlier this season she won the Slovenian women’s open and is aiming to better last year’s result in this championship, when she was third.

Holpfer, who started both nines with an eagle, said: “I made a few longer putts as well as the shorter ones and I didn’t make a three-putt.

The only blemish on her card was a bogey on the long 13th, where she had to take a drop from a water hazard.