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Walton Heath 2023

Smyth Salver


Heath and Lopez Ramirez to battle it out

Charlotte Heath in action at the 2023 AIG Women

The race for the Smyth Salver - awarded to the leading amateur - remains neck-and-neck at the halfway stage of the 2023 AIG Women’s Open.

Charlotte Heath and Julia Lopez Ramirez each sit one-over-par heading into the weekend as both recovered impressively from early double bogeys in their second rounds.

Heath picked up three birdies in her next four holes and though dropped shots followed at 9 and 15, a birdie on the par-5 16th took her back to level par and ensured she finished the day where she started it score-wise, sealing her place inside the cut line.

Lopez Ramirez, the European Amateur Champion, was particularly strong after the turn on Friday, picking up two birdies down the back nine to join Heath in carding a 72.

Julia Lopez Ramirez on day two at the 2023 AIG Women's Open

Both players are ranked inside the top 10 of the WAGR rankings – Lopez Ramirez sixth and Heath ninth – and the latter’s focus has been on the cut line rather than the leading amateur prize so far.

But asked if the Smyth Salver was on her mind, she replied: “Maybe tomorrow if the board stays the same.

“My goal for the week, honestly, was to make the cut. The best players in the world are here so I just want to try and compete as much with them as I can.

“I was pretty nervous because I knew the wind was going to get up but I knew it was playing the same for everyone, so it's just go and see what you can do.

“It played a lot different to the other days. The wind definitely picked up a lot, so it was much harder clubbing, but some holes played easier, some holes played harder.

“I want to just try and enjoy myself from here. I go back to America on Monday and I’d like to finish on a high.”

Heath and Lopez Ramirez are the only two of the 10 amateurs in the field to have made the cut.

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