Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Lincolnshire teenager Holly Clyburn birdied the last five holes for a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of the English women's (closed) amateur stroke-play championship at Silloth-on-Solway, Cumbria.
It was the second day in a row that the 16-year-old from Cleethorpes had staged a spectacular finish. In her first round she took the lead after she birdied seven of the last 10 holes for a one-under 72. This time, playing in stiff winds, she came back from 10-over par after 11 holes to return a five-over 78.
It gave her a 36-hole total of 150 and a three-stroke lead over Katie Mundy of Dunwood Manor (76, 77) and Danielle Montgomery of Lambourne (77, 76). England international Jodi Ewart of Catterick is a shot further back (76, 78).
“I struggled again for the first few holes,” said Holly, whose home club is Woodhall Spa. “I was a bit nervous, I was leading a big event and everyone was expecting a lot. But then I got a grip!
“By then it was very windy and I had to work really hard on the clubbing, especially on the back nine where it was downwind. If you had relied on your yardages you would have been so far out.”
She steadied herself with a fighting par on the 13th, where she twice found gorse, and then turned her score around with birdies on the five remaining holes. The most notable was her two on the 143-yard 16th, where Holly almost holed her wedge shot. She signed off on the 18th by holing a long putt.
“I love the course, it’s a great course,” said Holly, whose experience at Cleethorpes helped prepare her for the wind at Silloth. “Now I’m going to try and make a good front nine!”
Buckinghamshire’s Danielle Montgomery (Lambourne) also staged an impressive finish with an eagle three on the 15th and birdies on the 17th and 18th. On the last she hit a nine-iron from 150-yards and left herself with just a 3ft putt. Her closing holes helped her to a three-over 76 and a 153 total. “I struck it well but it was hard judging the wind. I mis-clubbed once and it cost me a double bogey – but I had a good finish.”
England international Jodi Ewart struggled with her putting all day – although she made no mistakes on the 17th, where she rolled the ball in the hole for an eagle 3.
“In the first round I had 27 putts, today I’ve had a lot more. I just don’t understand how it can change so much in a day,” said Jodi. “It’s a bit disappointing but tomorrow is a different day – and I’ll do some putting practice.”
The field was reduced to the leading 36 players and ties after the second round. The cut fell at 165.
Among those who successfully qualified for tomorrow’s final 36 holes were Cumbria players Clare Brown of Furness (81, 76) and Rebecca Edwards of Maryport (75, 89).

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