Oxfordshire’s Cara Gainer will defend her title when the English women’s open match play championship is played this week at Kirby Muxloe Golf Club, Leicestershire.
Gainer, 22, a member at Castle Royle and Frilford Heath Golf Clubs, comes into the event in good form. She’s had top ten finishes in both the Irish stroke play and the St Rule Trophy, where she was in England’s Nations Cup team.
Last year’s runner-up, Lizzie Prior (Burhill), is also in the field, alongside a number of fellow internationals.
Among them is Hollie Muse (West Lancashire), who reached the semi-finals of last week’s British women’s amateur, and Bel Wardle (Prestbury), the Portuguese amateur champion, who also holds the English girls’ and English open stroke play titles.
Other challengers include Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), who won the 2016 English stroke play as a 16-year-old, while local interest will focus on Jessica Bailey, who is a member of the host club.
Kirby Muxloe, which boasts a mature parkland course, is hosting an England championship for the second time in two years, having been the 2016 venue for the senior men.
The championship starts on Thursday, 5 July when the full field plays 36 holes of stroke play qualifying. The top 16 players will go forward to the knockout stages on Friday and Saturday, 6-7 July.
Caption: Gara Gainer in action on her way to her 2017 match play title. (copyright Leaderboard Photography)