Leading amateurs join LETAS finale

Sophie Keech

Leading England amateurs will join the professionals tomorrow when the WPGA International Challenge starts at Stoke by Nayland, just outside Colchester.

The 54-hole tournament is the final tournament on this year’s LET Access Series and has an international field of 96 players.

It includes 15 players who have received invitations based on their ranking on the England Golf women’s order of merit.

Rebecca Hembrough, the England Golf Women’s Performance Manager, commented: “It’s great to link up the amateur and professional games in this way and this is a fantastic opportunity for the players, who are very excited.”

The amateurs include internationals Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), Eloise Healey (West Lancashire) Sophie Keech (Parkstone), Inci Mehmet (Royal Mid Surrey), Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and Bethan Popel (Long Ashton).

They will be joined by Charlotte Austwick (Fulford), Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Penelope Brown (Worthing), Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall), Georgina Mundy (Corhampton), Emily Slater (Woodhall Spa), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Olivia Winning (Rotherham).

Other amateurs in the field include England Golf regional squad player Becca Earl (Bishops Stortford) who has won two events on this season’s WPGA one-day series.

Di Barnard, Tour Director of the LET Access Series, said: “We are pleased that England’s elite women amateurs will once again compete alongside both the WPGA professionals and LETAS players and delighted to have the continued support of the PGA and England Golf in providing this playing opportunity at the WPGA International Challenge.

“The Stoke by Nayland Gainsborough Course is a fabulous test of golf and we look forward to another exciting event this year.”

The tournament runs until Saturday, October 10 and entry is free. The tournament is set to display an exciting finish to the LET Access Series, with a €30,000 prize fund and the all-important points for the LET Access Series ranking. 

Current leader Olivia Cowan will be aiming for a record four wins on LETAS this season and hoping to secure her place as the LETAS 2015 Order of Merit winner. Fellow German, Isi Gabsa will be looking to catch Olivia with another strong performance, as she lies 2282.79 points behind her fellow countrywoman.

For the remaining cards, Natalia Escuriola of Spain is in 3rd position (22972pts), Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson in 4th (20538.33pts) followed closely by Finland’s Krista Bakker in 5th (19232.62pts). Those looking to move into the top five places with a good performance this week are Finland’s Oona Vartiainen, England’s Kym Larratt and Scotland’s Michele Thomson.

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 Caption: Sophie Keech (Image © Leaderboard Photography).