International Jackie Foster will target a hat trick of titles when the English senior women’s open stroke play championship starts next week at Belton Park Golf Club, Lincolnshire.
Foster, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, has already pulled off back-to-back wins in this event, winning by four shots last year. If she makes it three-in-a-row she’ll be the first player to achieve the feat.
But she faces a tough challenge from a field packed with leading seniors and fellow internationals. For at stake is not just the title, but precious order of merit points which could lead to a place in an England senior team.
Other title contenders include Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe), who has just won the English senior women’s amateur and will be eyeing an attractive double. Three other past champions are also among the competitors, Cath Rawthore (Sale), Sue Dye (Delamere Forest) and Janet Melville (Royal Birkdale).
There’s also the challenge of the fine Belton Park course, which is set in 240 acres of Lincolnshire parkland. As well as its test of golf it offers great views of the National Trust landscape and an abundance of wildlife, including the large population of fallow deer.
Local interest will focus on Anna Clark, a member of Belton Park, and Lynn Exley from Gedney Hill, another Lincolnshire club.
The 54-hole championship starts on Tuesday, 19 June, and continues until Thursday, 21 June. The full field will play 18 holes on each of the first two days. Then the leading 45 competitors and ties will play the final 18 holes on the third day.