Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Teenager Florentyna Parker set a blistering pace in the first round of the English women's (close) stroke-play championship at Little Aston Golf Club with a five-under par 68.
Her round - compiled in temperatures which soared to 33 deg C - was her best-ever in competition and put her two strokes clear of the field.
Florentyna, 17, (Royal Birkdale) is playing in this championship for the first time.
"It's the sort of start I dreamed of and it's a big thrill," said the German-based player who helped England win the bronze medal in the recent European Lady Juniors' Team Championship.
Florentyna's older brother Ben is one of the best male amateurs in England and their father is professional at a club near Hamburg.
Her game plan was to keep the ball in play on the dry, running faiways and it paid off as she arrowed a series of irons into the greens and close to the pins.
Florentyna got off to a quick start with three consecutive birdies on the second and third  - both par-5s - and the 315-yard fourth. She had a 2 at the short  ninth to reach the turn at four under and went on to birdie the par-4 11th and 14th to get to six under par.
"I only dropped one shot, on the 17th, and that was a good bogey!" said Florentyna, who salvaged a 5  after tangling with trees and a bunker. 
Her score puts her two clear of Yorkshire's Emma Duggleby (Malton & Norton) who shot 70 despite three-putting twice. Lincolnshire's Sophie Walker (Kenwick Park) is a stroke further back on 71. Both Emma and Sophie are past winners of this title. Girl international Jo Hodge (Knowle) also broke par with a one-under 72.
The high temperatures prompted ELGA officials to hand out bottled water on the first tee - provided by Highland Spring - and the organisers checked that all players had sun cream, drinks and a hat. Water fountains on the course were also well used.
68 F Parker (Royal Birkdale).
70 E Duggleby (Malton & Norton).
71 S Walker (Kenwick Park).
72 J Hodge (Knowle).
73 R Jennings (Izaak Walton), L Ball (Matfen Hall), R Wood (Glossop).
74 A Scott (Consett), H Ralph (Cowdray Park).
75 R Bell (Ganton), T Watters (Muswell Hill), S James (Bristol & Clifton), C Douglas (Brocket Hall), E Bennett (Brokenhurst Manor), H Burke (Mid-Herts).
76 S Garbutt (Ganton), F Johnson (Harborne), C Lee (West Lancs).