Ireland's challenge for the 115th Ladies’ Amateur Championship ended when Clandebye's Jessica Ross, Royal County Down Ladies' Olivia Mehaffey and Lurgan's Annabel Wilson bowed out on the first day of match play combat at Hillside.
Ross lost 2&1 to England's Caitlin Whitehead in the first round before Mehaffey and Wilson exited in the last 32.
Mehaffey beat Jessica Hall by two holes in the morning but fell by one hole to Italy's Alessia Nobilio in the afternoon.
As for Wilson, she beat Yuka Saso of the Philippines by one hole before losing 4&3 to Finland's Anna Backman.
It was a bad day for the favourites as three were knocked out in the first round of match play.
Elin Esborn, who was the official leading qualifier on countback after she finished on one-under-par alongside Esther Henseliet and Elodie Chapelet, suffered a loss to Germany’s Ava Bergner (2 Holes). The German then went on to defeat Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup player Annabel Fuller in the second round 3&2.
Henseleit, who lost out to Finland’s Anna Backman by 1 Hole, and Chapelet, defeated by Aline Krauter (2 Holes) also departed the championship after the first round of match play.
Holly Muse heroically came through an all-England match with the 2017 Girls Amateur champion Lily May Humphreys despite suffering a painful groin injury on Wednesday. The Liverpool golfer limped through both her first (Hannah Screen 3&2) and second round matches to progress to Friday.
The 2016 Girls Amateur Champion Emile Alba Paltrinieri is looking to add the Ladies’ Amateur title to her record after defeating Scotland’s Gemma Batty 5&4 to book her place in the third round. The 16-year-old knocked Ana Ruiz from Mexico in the morning session winning by 2 holes.
Ruiz’s teammate Isabella Fierro came from four down with five to play to beat Sweden’s Maja Stark on the 19th Hole in the first round. The 17-year-old then went on to defeat Spain’s Laura Maria Gomez Ruiz to set up a third round tie with Nobilio, who edged out Curtis Cup player Olivia Mehaffey by 1 hole.
Admission to the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship, which is played from Tuesday, June 26 to Saturday, June 30, is free of charge.
Ava Berger, Germany
“It was nice being the first one on the tee this morning and I started really strong with two birdies on the first two holes. I would say my entire day was pretty solid, I didn’t lose any balls and didn’t make any stupid mistakes. I made a lot of putts and had fun out there, so it was a good day.
“I just really played shot-by-shot out there and did my best so either way is fine but then winning is even more satisfying. I’m really surprised that the weather is this good. We’re all really happy to be here even more since the conditions are this great, we like the course and we’re having fun.”
Holly Muse, England
“It’s just been amazing and to be honest I’ve had an injury since yesterday which I got on the first hole. I fell on some uneven ground and my leg gave way. I’ve sprained my groin, it’s agony but I said to myself I’m not going to stop until it breaks. I’m in it to win it and I just want to keep pushing myself so I was quite happy with my wins today. The injury in a way helped me to play within myself a bit more and made me think about my shots a lot better so I’m grateful for it in a way.
“It’s amazing to actually sleep in my own bed, and I’ve been in America for nine months (where she attends Datona State College), but it’s nice to stay with my family at home. My club is only down the road, and they’ve come to support me which is amazing.”
Emilie Alba Paltrinieri, Italy
“I’m really happy with my game and I’m confident for tomorrow. I can’t wait to start some new matches.
“I think my short game was strong, I didn’t give my opponent any chances to win the holes so I made a lot of pars and birdies along the way.
“It’s different from what I’m used to playing, but I really like it because you need to visualise the shots a lot more. The course really helps you to hit great shots, it’s nice. I’m just trying to enjoy myself and play as best as I can.”
Isabella Fierro, Mexico
“It feels great to win my first two matches in the event. We have the best players in the world so I’m feeling great right now. I think the key for tomorrow is to just stay relaxed and patient and play hole-by-hole.
“I think the key was, if I was losing a hole or if I made a bad shot, I was to just forget it, stay positive and smile all the time. Today I hit the ball well.
“It feels like home (in the sunshine). Everyone keeps telling me that this is so hot but for me it’s perfect right now. I think the last time I played on a links course was when I was seven years old in Scotland, it was cold and windy and raining like it’s supposed to be now.”