Former champion Emilie Paltrinieri will face the highest-ranked player in the field, Alessia Nobilio, in an all-Italian third round match at the centenary R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship at Panmure tomorrow.
“My strength is that I can always concentrate on every shot without thinking about my mistakes so that was my key today,” said Nobilio. “I hit a lot of fairways today and that was good. My irons to the green weren’t my best part but I also made a lot of putts.
“I don’t think I’m a really good player in the wind but I’m very patient and I just think about every single shot. I’m not thinking about the person I’m playing against, I’m just going to play my best golf for myself. It won’t be different tomorrow. We are just going to enjoy our match. We are all really good friends in our team so it will be a great match I’m sure.”
Paltrinieri, who lifted the trophy at Royal St David’s in 2016 and defeated the 2017 champion Lily May Humphreys in this morning’s round, came through a tough match in blustery, windy conditions against another Italian, Carolina Melgrati, to secure her berth in tomorrow’s third round.
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“I started really well and went two and three up but then in the last holes I had some problems. Carolina made a birdie and then I bogeyed the next so she brought me up to 18 but in the end I won. She holed a good putt on the 17th and I knew that walking on to the 18th tee one up would be different than all square so I tried my best and I made it as well.
“Today was the most windy day so I had to stay patient and decide very well on each shot. I’m happy about my game and I will just try to do my best every match. It may be a bit harder tomorrow because I have known her (Nobilio) for many, many years and it is not just like you are playing a girl from abroad. It is different but it will be a lot of fun.”
The German Girls’ Open champion was two up early in the match but, as is so often the case in match play, struggled to see off her opponent. Melgrati holed a 25ft putt on the 17th but Paltrinieri responded by holing a 15ft putt of her own to take the match down the last. A par on the 18th was enough to secure the win and a match against her friend Nobilio, who is ranked sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and will join her at UCLA next year.
Having led the qualifying, Nobilio maintained her rich vein of form against Spain’s Ana Amalia Pina Ortega and clinched the match in style, holing from 20ft on the 16th for a 4&2 win. Earlier Nobilio saw off Lisa Marie Schumacher of Germany by 3&2.
Burnham & Berrow’s Euphemie Rhodes came through a close match against Aine Donegan from Lahinch with a one hole win and will face another Irish player, Anna Foster from Elm Park, who dispatched Thalia Kirby from Stoke Park by 2&1, tomorrow.
“I got kind of stressed near the end and started three-putting and getting a bit nervous but I’m happy to have holed the last putt to win,” said Rhodes. “I was three-up with five or six to play but you never know out there with the wind. It can take your ball anywhere so I’m just happy to be in. If you hit the green today it was important to just be happy with it and with a two-putt. I’m not looking too far ahead but I’m confident with my game.”
Pia Babnik emerged victorious over Rachel Gourley from Arcot Hall on the 22nd hole. The Slovenian will face Kirsty Rudgeley from Australia in the next round after she notched up a 2&1 win over Adela Cernousek from France.
“It was a very tough match because my opponent played really well. I needed to play my best to beat her and it was a long one so I’m happy. It was quite hard because you never know what your opponent will do but I just tried to hit it on the fairway and hit it on the green and then take two putts and I succeeded. I played even better when my whole family came so I’m really happy that I have them here. It means a lot to beat two good players today and I’m really looking forward to playing the best I can.”
Darcey Harry from the Vale Resort in Wales enjoyed a fine 3&2 triumph over Marloes van den Brink from the Netherlands.
The Girls’ Amateur Championship was first played in 1919 and celebrates its centenary this year. Four former Girls’ Amateur Champions were named in the European Solheim Cup team this week: Georgia Hall, Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Munoz.
The winner of this year’s championship will receive exemptions into Final Qualifying for the 2020 AIG Women’s British Open, the Women’s Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.
For the full results from today’s play visit www.randa.org/Championships.
Admission and parking are free of charge for spectators visiting Panmure.