Holly, 16, played the back nine in six-under par 32 and her one-under par total of 72 leaves her two shots clear of the field.
Her closest challengers are Charlotte Wild (Mere) and Kirsty Rands (Burhill) who both scored one over par 74. Cumbria’s Rebecca Edwards (Maryport) and Herrtfordshire’s Charlotte Field (Bishop’s Stortford) both returned 75 and share fourth place. England international Jodi Ewart (Catterick) shot 76 and is in a group of four players in sixth place.
Holly, from Woodhall Spa, set off in the calm morning conditions but she struggled with the pace of the greens and notched up four bogeys and a double bogey in her first eight holes. “I told myself I needed to start playing golf,” she said afterwards – and, as the wind strengthened, that’s exactly what she did.
The long-hitting Lincolnshire champion began her birdie blitz with a two on the 110-yard 9th and followed up with more on the 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th.
“I just got the pace of the greens and then kept making birdies everywhere,” said Holly, whose eagle putts on the long 14th and 15th both lipped out. “Seven birdies in 10 holes – you can’t beat that! I’m really happy.”
Yorkshire’s Jodi Ewart, who helped England to the bronze medal in the European team championship earlier this month, was satisfied with her score in the windy conditions.
“For the first 10 holes I had to keep it low and punch it into the wind,” said Jodi, who hurt her wrist coming out of the rough and applied an ice pack after play.
The wind was behind on the inward nine, which includes four par fives and five players took advantage of the conditions to score eagles. Kate Whitmore (Sandiway), Carly Warrington (Sickleholme) and Emma Sheffield (Newark) all scored three on the 460-yard 14th, while Rachael Goodall (Heswall) made short work of the 428-yard 15th.
Becky Dowell (Enmore Park) eagled the 17th, after scoring birdies on the 15th and 16th. Her purple patch helped her to a two-under 36 on the inward half - despite a double bogey seven on the 13th. She finished with a four-over 77.
All competitors play 18 holes on each of the first two days of the championship. The leading 36 players and ties go forward to play the final 36 holes on Thursday.
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photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images