Young Shropshire golfer Alexandra Peters this afternoon enjoyed the perfect early birthday present – a spell at the top of the leaderboard at one of the world’s biggest women’s events.
Shifnal-based Peters, who turns 19 tomorrow, led the way after reaching two-under-par after 11 holes of her first round at the British Women’s Open at Hoylake in Liverpool.
She eventually signed for a one-over-par round of 73 to lie in 34th position with the afternoon finishers still out on the course, and well placed to make the cut at the end of tomorrow’s second round.
The amateur is rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in female golf, including American Michelle Wie, in one of the four Major championships of the year.
“I couldn’t have asked for much more really,” Peters said after her opening round.
“I played really solid all day apart from a double bogey. I was pretty nervous on my first hole but I made a par and hit some good shots so that settled me down and I really enjoyed it.”
Starting her first round on the 10th hole, Peters dropped shots at the 11th and 14th but birdies at the 12th, 15th, 17th and 18th saw her share the lead and reach the turn at two-under.
She came within a whisker of picking up another shot at her 11th, before she dropped three quick shots.
But Peters steadied the ship with three pars to finish a memorable day.
The teenager came through two rounds of qualifying at The Berkshire last month and Caldy on Monday to reach the main event.
Peters moved to Shropshire three years ago when her father Nick, who caddied today, and mother Ann were appointed house and catering managers at Shifnal Golf Club.
Her home club continues to be Holinwell in Nottinghamshire.
Meanwhile, James Busby today took another step towards securing his place on the main European Tour.
The 30-year-old Telford golfer fired a five-under-par round of 67 – featuring an eagle and three birdies – to lie tied for seventh the first round of the Kazakhstan Open.