Local star in English senior championship challenge

Janet Melville

Local interest will be high when the English senior women’s amateur championship is played at Sherwood Forest Golf Club in Nottinghamshire next week, from April 23-26.

Over 100 of the country’s top seniors will contest the England Golf title and one of the leading contenders is Nottinghamshire golf star Janet Melville, who is a member of the host club.

Janet, the reigning English senior stroke play champion, will bid to add this title to an impressive collection amassed over a long and successful career. Her personal roll of honour includes three British ladies’ championships: the open, the stroke play and the match play.

She’s one of three Sherwood Forest players in the field, alongside Sue Penfold and Caron Harrison, who are both regulars on the England senior circuit. Other Nottinghamshire players in the championship are Carol Wild of Notts Ladies’, Lynn Raynor of Worksop and Kathryn Horberry of Coxmoor.

The “away” challenge will be led by defending champion Chris Quinn of Hockley in Hampshire. She is a formidable competitor and, since joining senior ranks, has won this championship four times, the stroke play title twice – and been British senior champion.

Other past titleholders are Sue Dye and Caroline Berry, both from Cheshire, and Christine Watson of Buckinghamshire. The current British champion, Katharine Russell of Sussex, is in the field together with her immediate predecessor, Felicity Christine of Surrey.

Among those making a first appearance in a national senior event is Julie Walter of Cambs & Hunts, who won the English women’s amateur championship in 1982.

The full field will play 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23 and 24. The top 16 players will qualify for the championship matchplay flight and the next 16 will go into the second flight knockout. The matchplay starts on Thursday and the finals of both flights will be played on the afternoon of Friday, April 26. There will be a consolation stableford competition on Thursday, April 25 for those who do not qualify for the matchplay.