Friday, June 16, 2006


Sophie Walker from Kenwick Park ended the giant-killing run of the 64th qualifier, Stacy Bregman from Johannesburg, in the third round of the Ladies British open amateur championship at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle in Northern Ireland this morning.
In steady rain, Sophie won by 3 and 2 to reach the quarter-finals in which she will play Maria Hernandez from Spain. Maria won by 2 and 1 over Ireland’s Maura Morrin.
Sophie, 21, the 17th qualifier, lost the first hole to a birdie from Stacy but fought back with wins at the fourth, fifth and nine (with a birdie) to be two up at the turn.
Miss Walker was conceded the 10th and birdied the long 12th to establish a four-hole lead.
Miss Bregman rallied with wins at the 13th and 15th (with a birdie) to be two down with three to play before Sophie finished her off with a par at the 16th.
"I was three under par except for one bad hole," said Sophie. "I hit the fairways and greens and that was the secret."
Maria Hernandez got off to a flyer in her tie against Maura Morrin from The Curragh. The Spanish 21-year-old, a student at Purdue University, won the first three holes but Maura hit back with successes at the fourth and seventh before falling two down again at the ninth.
The Irish player looked to be on a roll when she won the 10th and 11th to square the tie. However, Maria birdied the long 12th to edge ahead again. After a series of halves, the Spaniard clinched her place in the last eight by winning the 17th. She was roughly level or one under par for the holes played.
British girls’ champion Anna Nordqvist, 19, from Sweden produced some of the best golf of the championship so far when she was seven under par in beating recent St Rule Trophy tournament winner Krystle Caithness, 17, from the St Regulus club, St Andrews.
Anna started birdie-birdie-eagle to be three up and that lead was increased to four with a par at the sixth. The Scottish teenager got a birdie of her own with a 2 at the short seventh.
But Miss Nordqvist got back in the driving seat with a par at the eighth and a birdie at the ninth to be a commanding five up at the turn.
Krystle kept fighting and birdie the 11th but the Swede countered with a birdie at the long 12th to regain a five-hole advantage.
Miss Caithness had to birdie holes to live with her bang-in-form opponent. Krystle got a 4 at the long 13th to cut the deficit to four and the long 15th was halved in birdie 4s to finish the tie.
Krsytle was two under par at the finish, figures that would have been good enough to win most of the other third-round ties.

Naomi Edwards (Ganton), the 22-year-old Welsh open stroke-play champion, won by 5 and 3 against 18-year-old Argentina-born Spaniard, Mariana Macias. Naomi was two up at the turn.
Florentyna Parker, 16-year-old daughter of the professional at German golf club, Gut Waldhof, had a very good one hole win over Sandra Gall, the 21-year-old German who plays for Florida University on the American college circuit.
Miss Parker was one up at the turn, and went two up after 11 but Miss Gal had cut her deficit to only one hole after 15 holes.
Spain’s Belen Mozo, only 18, was another teenager to reach the last eight. She was three up after nine holes on Py Bengtsson, a 19-year-old Swede who attends New Mexico Univerity, but the match went all the way to the 18th before Belen won by one hole.
Katharina Schallenberg from Osnabruck, Germany won at the 19th against Laura Matthews from Windsor, Ontario and a golf coach at Oklahoma Universtiy.
Vagliano Trophy player Katharina missed from 3ft after an excellent approach shot to the 18th green and had to settle for a half in birdie 4s but she seized her winning chance at the first extra hole to reach the last eight for a second year in a row.
Irish champion Tricia Mangan (Ennis) and Australian Emma Bennett also went into extra holes in the last third-round tie to finish. All square after 16 holes, Tricia three-putted the next to let her opponent escape with a half but the Irish player did well to get down in two from a hollow at the side of the green to halve the 18th in birdie 4s.

Friday results

Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
S Walker (Kenwick Park) bt S Bregman (South Africa) 3 and 2.
M Hernandez (Spain) bt M Morrin (The Curragh) 2 and 1.
A Nordqvist (Sweden) bt K Caithness (St Regulus) 4 and 3.
F Parker (Gut Waldhof) bt S Gal (Germany) 1 hole.
B Mozo (Spain) bt P Bengtsson (Sweden) 1 hole.
K Schallenberg (Germany) bt L Matthews (Canada) at 19th.
N Edwards (Ganton) bt M Macias (Spain) 5 and 3.