Beth Coulter and Sara Byrne both came from behind in their last-64 ties to advance to the last-32 of the R&A Women’s Amateur Championship at Prince’s as Aine Donegan bowed out.
Coulter came from one down early on to win 2&1 as she wrestled back control on the back nine against Paula Francisco of Spain.
The Kirkistown native was the leading qualifier through 36 holes but had to wait until the afternoon to find out her opponent and she avoided the curse of the leading qualifier.
Douglas’ Byrne found herself 2 down through three holes against Mikhaela Dianne Malixi but battled back to win on 18.
Coulter will face Cypriot Lucy Lin in the top match while Byrne will play Andrea Revuelta of Spain.
Ingrid Lindblad lived up to her status as the new women’s amateur world number one after a convincing victory to reach the last-32 stage.
The 23-year-old, who finished in a tie for second place in stroke play qualifying, eased to an 8&7 success over Bailey Shoemaker to continue her form on the glorious Kent links.Lindblad won the first two holes and never looked back as the Swede – who took over from Rose Zhang at the summit of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) last week – set up a tie with England’s Patience Rhodes, who won the St Rule Trophy two weeks ago, in the next round.
“It was nice today,” said Lindblad, the Louisiana State University player. “I played really well. I missed one green and one fairway in 11 holes. I had a few shorter birdie putts and rolled in a long putt on the 9th so it felt good.“I’ve been pretty confident in my driver this week, so I’ve just been trying to hit driver wherever I can which gives you a little shorter in obviously. So on the 2nd I think that drive was like 300 metres long. When it’s blowing, you just trust that the wind is going to pick up the ball and bring it to the fairway. You can attack.”
It proved a bittersweet day for Shoemaker, who defeated Scotland’s Penelope Brown in the preliminary round with the help of a hole-in-one. The 18-year-old, who reached the semi-finals in the 2022 US Women’s Amateur, aced the 11th with a 9-iron.There was joy for another Scottish player, Jasmine Mackintosh, who ended the hopes of defending champion, Jess Baker. Mackintosh, winner of the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open in April, survived Baker’s fightback from four holes down with six to play to win on the 18th.
“It was inspiring to play Jess,” said Mackintosh. “It’s like a good challenge to know that you can try and beat somebody who already went the whole way and won. She fought hard all the way to the end. She’s a great player and it was a tough match. I’m happy to have won.“I’ve had a good year so far. Winning the Helen Holm in April boosted my confidence a lot coming into the season so it’s been good.”