England Golf ambassador Justin Rose has donated a special trophy as part of a prestigious new competition series for the country’s leading women players.
The 2013 US Open champion is an enthusiastic supporter of the national governing body’s drive to encourage more people into golf and to develop top-class talent.
Now Rose, winner of Olympic gold in 2016, has presented a superb cut-glass, engraved bowl to be awarded to the winner of one of five events that bring together the cream of England’s 36-hole scratch tournaments for women.
The Gold Rose will be the second of five scratch competitions that will provide an exciting opportunity for the top women players to improve their world ranking in 2017.
A series of existing 36-hole competitions have been paired up to create five 72-hole tournaments which will see players qualify for points on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
Rebecca Hembrough, the England Golf Women’s Performance Manager, said: “We are working hard to increase competitive opportunities for women and girls players in England.
“The combination of these events provides a fantastic platform for the players and we are delighted that Justin Rose has recognised the importance of helping the women’s amateur game at the highest level with his kind donation.”
Rose, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the England Golf Awards, has explained why he continues to support the amateur game.
The 36-year-old, who won both the McGregor and Carris Trophies – the English U16 and U18 boys’ championships – as an amateur in 1995, said: “I received so much help from England Golf through coaching programmes, representing my country and travelling all over the world to play for England. That type of experience was unbelievable at the time and stood me in good stead for my professional career.”
The five 72-hole competitions for 2017 are:
Comboy Leveret – Comboy Scratch at Delamere Forest, Cheshire, on March 26; and The Leveret at Formby Ladies’, Lancashire, on April 1.
The Gold Rose – Roehampton Gold Cup at Roehampton, Surrey, on April 1; and the Hampshire Rose at North Hants, Hampshire, on April 9.
Critchley Astor – the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale, Surrey, on May 23; and the Astor Salver at The Berkshire on June 7.
Frilford Jackson – Frilford Heath Scratch, Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire on June 2; and Bridget Jackson Bowl, Handsworth, Warwickshire on July 4.
Birkdale Putter – Pleasington Putter, Pleasington, Lancashire on July 12; and Royal Birkdale Scratch, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, on August 25.
The first three events to be played have produced three different winners to tee up the prospect of a close-fought battle for overall honours.
England international Gemma Clews won the Comboy Scratch at her home club, Delamere Forest in Cheshire, for the fourth successive year while Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall Golf Club) won The Leveret at Formby Ladies. Lily May Humphreys (Stoke-by-Nayland GC) finished runner-up at both to become the first overall winner of the Comboy Leveret.
The Roehampton Gold Cup, which is open to professionals and amateurs, was won by Ladies European Tour player and former England international Sophie Walker.