Bedfordshire’s Sophie Mills will be aiming to make it third time lucky when she tees up in England Golf’s Grand Medal Final at the end of June.
The 16-year-old clinched her place when she led the 10 qualifiers from yesterday’s East Region Medal Final, which was played in warm sunshine at Chelmsford in Essex. It’s the third time in four years that she has made it through to the Grand Final – and on both previous occasions she’s been in the prizes.
Sophie (pictured) will be joined in the Grand Medal Final at Peterborough Milton Golf Club on June 28 by Belinda Rattray of West Kent, Lynn Cherkas of Porters Park, Elaine Mankelow of Peterborough Milton, Holly Hunter of Redbourn, Jude Hole of The Links, Newmarket, Fiona Glasswell of Bury St Edmunds, Lorraine Norris of Rochford Hundred, Wendy Cook of Colne Valley and Wendy Wigg of West Essex.
All the regional finalists had returned the best four scores at their club in the England Golf Medals during 2013.
Sophie led the way in the qualifier with a net score of 73, one over par, which included two birdies. “I played nicely but the main thing was that I holed out really well, because the greens were quite tricky,” she said. “And, although it was sunny, the wind was picking up which made it quite tough.”
The first time Sophie qualified for the Grand Medal Final in 2011 she was off 16 handicap. That year she tied for second place, but came third on countback. She returned to the event in 2012, when her handicap was eight, and she was runner-up.
Sophie, who now plays off four and attends the Lee Westwood Golf School at Stoke by Nayland, said: “I’m very happy to be going back to the final and I’m definitely going to try and win it this time!
“I’ve got good memories of this competition and it’s nice to be able to do it again by winning at my club and coming back.”
The other Regional Medal Finals are: South at Tyrrells Wood, Surrey, on 24 April; Midlands North at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 3 May; Midlands South at Tadmarton Heath, Oxfordshire, on 13 May; North at Houghton-Le-Spring, Durham on 21 May; South West at Forest Hills, Gloucestershire on 25 May.
East Region Medal Final
Par 72 CSS 75 reduction only
73 Sophie Mills (Wyboston Lakes)
74 Belinda Rattray (West Kent)
77 Lynn Cherkas (Porters Park), Elaine Mankelow (Peterborough Milton), Holly Hunter (Redbourn)
78 Jude Hole (Links, Newmarket), Fiona Glasswell (Bury St Edmunds), Lorraine Norris (Rochford Hundred), Wendy Cook (Colne Valley), Wendy Wigg (West Essex)
Click here for the full scores