Her closest challenger is Hertfordshire player, Charlie Douglass (Brocket Hall) who was runner-up in last year’s championship.
Hannah, an England girl international from Knowle, said: “I am really chuffed to bits, really pleased. This is a great start and hopefully I can go out and repeat it all tomorrow.”
She added: “The course is in such good condition and the greens are just perfect so it’s hard not to do a good score. The weather is beautiful as well - you couldn’t ask for much more!”
The 17-year-old, who reached the last 16 in the English ladies’ championship, played steadily throughout her round. She had pars on the first eight holes and a birdie on the long 9th to reach the turn at one-under. She bogeyed the 11th and 14th but came back quickly with birdies on the 15th and 16th, both par fours.
Charlie Douglass, 18, struggled at the start of her round with two bogeys in the first three holes but she soon repaired the damage. “I steadied myself and got some good pars and three birdies,” she said.
“I just want two steady rounds – and then see what happens,” she added.
Nottinghamshire’s Katie Best (Sherwood Forest) and Hampshire’s Katie Mundy (Dunwood Manor), share third place on one over par 73.
Katie Best, 17, had six birdies in her round including a chip-in on the 8th and a four on the 18th, where she holed a long putt from off the green. “I had a good putting day,” said Katie, who is the Nottinghamshire girls’ champion and the winner of the Lincolnshire open.
Katie Mundy, 16, has come straight from the English ladies’ strokeplay championship at Silloth-on-Solway where she qualified in second place. She’s reaping the benefit of steady practice and hard work in the gym and has recently won the south region of the Faldo Series, with a three-under course record at Brocket Hall, and made her debut with the Hampshire first team.
Lucy Williams, from Mid-Herts, shares fourth place on two-over 74. Other scores by Hertfordshire players included a 76 from Charlotte Field (Bishops Stortford) while Harriet Key (South Herts) is one shot further back. Hollie Gardner and Steph McEvoy, who both play at the host club, had identical scores of 82.
After tomorrow’s second qualifying round the top 32 players will go into the championship matchplay flight and the next 32 into the second flight.
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