Friday, April 19, 2019

Shannon McWilliam notches hole in one at Troon Portland on Day 1 of "Helen Holm"



By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Aboyne Golf Club member Shannon McWilliam, who lives and works at Torphins, had a hole in one at the par-3 142yd eighth hole on the Troon Portland course as the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship got under way today with the first of three rounds.
Shannon, a Curtis Cup player, finished the day with a two-under-par 70 which put her into a share of sixth place.
McWilliam, is one of six Scots currently in the top 10 with last week’s Scottish girls’ open championship winner , Hannah Darling (Broomieknowe, also two-under-par after day one.
Jess Meek (Carnoustie) and Chloe Goadby (St Regulus) are the leading Scots overnight in a share of third place on the 69 mark.
Speaking to Scottish Golf following her opening round, McWilliam said:
“The pin was at 142-yards, playing uphill and slightly into the wind, I was trying to hit a 150-yard shot and hit a perfect eight-iron that bounced once and went in. I didn’t actually see it go in, I only knew because of my mum’s reaction.”
Analysing the rest of her round, McWilliam admitted that there is still room for improvement, adding:
“It was a very mixed bag out there for me today, two double bogeys, one bogey, five birdies and a hole-in-one. I felt like I could have been a lot lower but I am looking forward to round two tomorrow.”

With temperatures soaring on the West Coast, it was Slovenian youngster Pia Babnik who hit the ground running on day one with brilliant six-under 66 at Troon Portland to lead the field by two strokes.
Babnik, who, at No 37, is the highest world-ranked player in this weekend’s Troon field, carded nine birdies in total on her way to finishing six-under-par for her first circuit in what is a 54-hole championship
Speaking to Scottish Golf following her round, Babnik praised the Scottish weather and outstanding course conditions, saying:
“It was really nice to play here today because it wasn’t too windy and it was warm, I just did my best and I am really happy that I played the way I did today. Up until now, I think this is the best weather I have played in, for Scotland it was really special because normally it is windy or raining but today it was nice.”
Babnik is currently vying for a place in the PING Junior Solheim Cup team ahead of the event at Gleneagles in September and with this year’s "Helen Holm" counting as a qualifying event, Babnik is relishing the opportunity:
“It means a lot to me that I am able to play here, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t feel much pressure because I feel like I can play good golf.”
Shannon McWilliam and Chloe Goadby (St Regulus) have a 10 stroke lead as Scotland's pairing in the international team event.
The 120-strong field will play another round over Troon Portland on Saturday, before the cut is made to the leading 36 players and ties for the final 18 holes over Royal Troon Old Course, on Sunday.

FIRST ROUND SCOREBOARD
AT TROON PORTLAND
Par 72

T16
Par
F
72
T16
Par
F
72
T31
+2
F
74
T58
+4
F
76
T58
+4
F
76
T90
+7
F
79
T99
+9
F
81

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