Richard Latham will defend the English Men’s Senior Championship he won on his debut last year when the 54-hole event takes place at Matfen Hall and Hexham Golf Clubs in Northumberland on 4th – 6th June.
Latham, (Image © Leaderboard Photography) the General Manager at Woodhall Spa, made an instant impact on the senior game after he turned 55 in May last year, winning the English title at Bristol & Clifton before securing the Scottish Seniors the following week.
He was also the leading qualifier from the stroke play stage of the European Senior Men’s Team Championships when representing England in Hungary, finished runner-up in the Senior County Champions Tournament at Woodhall Spa and was a member of the GB&I team that recently competed against the United States in the Concession Cup in Florida.
In Northumberland he will be joined by four other former English Senior champions as well as those just qualified by turning 55, who will seek to follow in Latham’s footsteps.
The other former champions in action are Doug Arnold (Copthorne, Sussex), David Lane (Goring & Streatley, BB&O), Chris Reynolds (Littlestone, Kent) and Roy Smethurst (Crewe, Cheshire).
Between them they have secured 11 English Senior titles over the past 16 years. Arnold has won three titles, the most recent in 2006, while Lane also has three claimed between 1997 and 2007. Reynolds was champion in 2009 but Smethurst holds the record of four championships, back-to-back in 2000 and 2001 and in 2004 and 2005. However, an absentee is Alan Squires (Oldham, Lancashire), who won three successive senior titles from 2010.
All these players have been capped by England at senior level in recent years, while all seven members of England victorious team from last year’s Seniors Home Internationals are in the field of 240 for the 34th playing of the Seniors Championship.
That magnificent seven includes Reynolds, John Ambridge and Douglas Cameron (both Moor Park, Hertfordshire), Charlie Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire), Richard Partridge (Wildernesse, Kent), Tyrone Carter (Stevenage, Hertfordshire), and Andrew Stracey (Denham, BB&O), any one of whom could be crowned champion.
If there is to be a new name on the trophy it could also come from the last three winners of the Senior Men’s County Champions Tournament, Cameron, Alan Mew (Stoneham, Hampshire, IoW & CI), and Tony McLure (Longhirst Hall, Northumberland).
Another contender is likely to be Stephen East (Moortown, Yorkshire), who turned 55 last October and who won his maiden senior title recently with the Spanish Seniors International Championship at La Manga, while other England senior caps in the field include Andrew Carman (Coventry, Warwickshire), Martin Galway (Brighton & Hove, Sussex), Dave Jessup (Wrotham Heath, Kent), the former World Speedway champion, Adrian Donkersley (Gerrards Cross, BB&O) and Philip Slater (Sandiway, Cheshire).
The competitors will play one round over each course on the first two days after which the leading 60 and ties will complete 18 holes on the final day at Matfen Hall.