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10thJuly 2012

England, led by Elizabeth Mallett, made a sensational start to the European girls' team championship in Germany with a first day team score of 22-under par.

Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies', Image © Leaderboard Photography)

Their closest rivals at St Leon Rot are Spain, who are 19 shots behind on three-under, and Germany on level par.

Team captain Julie Sparrow said: "I have never seen a set of scores like it. It's just amazing - and they all came in saying they could have done better. They were all very, very impressive."

After tomorrow's second stroke play round, the top eight teams will qualify for the championship matchplay flight and will contest the medals. England, the 2011 silver medallists, aim to go one better this year and win the gold.

Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies', Image © Leaderboard Photography) led the team's scoring with a superb eight-under par 64. It was the low round of the day and was perfectly composed of eight birdies and 10 pars. For the record, she birdied holes 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Emily Taylor (Hillside) and Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak)  both returned scores of five-under 67 and their very similar scorecards each included one eagle, one bogey and four birdies. Charley Hull (Woburn), meanwhile, had an eagle and five birdies in her 68.

Bronte Law (Bramhall), with a double bogey on the last, and Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) completed the team's scoring with level par rounds of 72 - one of which is discarded.

It was apparent very early on that England were on a roll. The first three players out - Charley, Elizabeth and Emily - were a total of 10-under at the turn and 17-under when they finished. Bronte and Meghan were next in, before Georgia took the score to 22-under.

According to Julie, the secret of the scoring was in the team's preparation with England Golf coach Steve Robinson. "We had two really productive practice days and did lots of really good preparation. That was the key - and the girls then played to plan."

She added: "Now we've got to draw a line under this and get ready for tomorrow."

Leading team scores:
-22 England 338
-3 Spain 357
Par Germany 360  
+4 Italy 364
+6 Netherlands 366, France 366
+7 Finland 367, Demark 367

Selected others:
+11 Scotland 371
+15 Ireland 375
+39 Wales 399


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