Day 1 Report – 2019 Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open

With temperatures soaring on the West Coast, it was Slovenian youngster Pia Babnik who hit the ground running on day one at the 2019 Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open. A sensational opening round of 66 at Royal Troon gave the youngster a two-shot lead over the rest of the field.

Babnik, who is the highest ranked player in this week’s field, carded nine birdies in total on her way to finishing six-under-par ahead of round two tomorrow. Speaking to Scottish Golf following her round, Babnik praised the Scottish weather and outstanding course conditions, saying:

“It was really nice to play here today because it wasn’t too windy and it was warm, I just did my best and I am really happy that I played the way I did today. Up until now, I think this is the best weather I have played in, for Scotland it was really special because normally it is windy or raining but today it was nice.”

Babnik is currently vying for a place in the PING Junior Solheim Cup team ahead of the event at Gleneagles in September and with this year’s Helen Holm counting as a qualifying event, Babnik is relishing the opportunity:

“It means a lot to me that I am able to play here, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t feel much pressure because I feel like I can play good.”

Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam also enjoyed the “ace” conditions in Ayrshire. The youngster from Aboyne recorded a hole-in-one at the 142-yard Par 3, eighth on her way to carding a two-under-par 70.

McWilliam, is one of six Scots currently in the top 10 with last week’s Scottish Girls’ Open Champion, Hannah Darling, also two-under-par after day one.

Speaking to Scottish Golf following her opening round, McWilliam said:

“The pin was at 142-yards, playing uphill and slightly into the wind, I was trying to hit a 150-yard shot and hit a perfect eight-iron that bounced once and went in. I didn’t actually see it go in, I only knew because of my mum’s reaction.”

Analysing the rest of her round, McWilliam admitted that there is still room for improvement, adding:

“It was a very mixed bag out there for me today, two double bogeys, one bogey, five birdies and a hole-in-one. I felt like I could have been a lot lower but I am looking forward to round two tomorrow.”

The 120-strong field will play another round over Royal Troon Portland on Saturday, before the cut is made for the final 18 holes over Royal Troon Old Course, on Sunday.

> View latest scores from the 2019 Helen Holm