Hertfordshire’s Jackie Foster will defend her English senior stroke play title in her home county next week when the championship is played at Harpenden Golf Club.
Foster, an England senior international, is in good form, having reached the quarter finals of the last month’s English senior amateur.
She’s also the Bishops Stortford club champion and recently retained her title as Hertfordshire’s champion of champions, sealing the win with a career best competition round of four-under par.
Foster heads a strong entry of 16 Hertfordshire players who will challenge when the 54-hole event is played over three days, from Tuesday to Thursday, June 20-22.
They include five players from Harpenden, which is hosting a national championship for the first time, amid much excitement from club members.
“Everyone is very proud that we have been selected to host this, it’s a real privilege,” said ladies’ captain Lindsay Macintyre.
“The members have really embraced it – men and women alike – and we’ve had a fantastic response from volunteers.”
The club is a great supporter of women’s golf and runs an academy to help new players learn the game and gain experience. It’s been so successful that a men’s academy is now being started.
“We’re hoping that our academy ladies will come and watch the championship and that it will spur them on,” said Lindsay.
The host club’s representatives are county players Cathy Gosling and Rhona Finch, together with Naoko Wada, Debbie Nichols and Jill Banks.
They’ll be joined by leading players from across the country – and there’s much at stake. The championship offers order of merit points which will help to shape the England side for the European senior women’s team championship in September.
The parkland course, where there has been much investment in encouraging birds and wildlife, will provide the players with a fair but challenging examination, according to Lindsay Macintyre. “It’s a beautiful course with an element of risk and reward. It offers some real opportunities if you have the courage to go for them,” she said.
All competitors will play the first two rounds of the championship before the field is cut to the top 45 players and ties for the final round on the Thursday.
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Caption: Jackie Foster, the defending English senior women's stroke play champion (image copyright Leaderboard Photography).