Rawthore and East are England’s top seniors

Cath Rawthore

Cheshire’s Cath Rawthore and Yorkshire’s Stephen East are England’s top senior golfers for 2014, having each won their respective England Golf Order of Merit.

Cath Rawthore (Sale) topped the Ascot Golf senior ladies’ table after a spectacular season in which she won English and British titles and helped England’s senior ladies to become both European team champions and Home International winners.

Stephen East (Moortown) followed a recent trend for newcomers to the over-55 age group to win the Titleist/FootJoy Senior Men’s Order of Merit, crowning a maiden season in which he became both English and Spanish senior champion.

Rawthore was playing only her second season of senior golf and, after an impressive debut in 2013, she forged ahead, winning the English senior strokeplay at Knaresborough in Yorkshire, and the British seniors at Royal Dornoch in Scotland. She was also a semi-finalist in the English senior amateur at Sandy Lodge, near Watford.

She won the order of merit by a clear margin from Staffordshire’s Julie Brown, who made an impressive senior debut when she won the English amateur title. Reviewing the year Cath remarked: “Winning the order of merit is a great feeling, especially when you consider the strength and depth of our senior ladies in England.

“There have been many highlights for me over the season but I believe that winning the English stroke play and securing my place in the England team was pivotal.

“I felt immensely proud representing my country, therefore winning the gold medal at the European Championships in Austria and the Home Internationals at Huddersfield with such a fabulous team of competitive, encouraging, warm hearted girls was very special indeed.

“Winning the British seniors at the wonderful Royal Dornoch – obviously now one of my favourite golf courses! – was a great way to finish a truly memorable year, made all the more special by the incredible number of kind messages of congratulations I received.”

East, after a distinguished amateur career, fashioned a memorable first senior season, winning the England title at Matfen Hall in Northumberland. He also lifted the Spanish seniors at La Manga, finished joint runner-up in the Irish seniors at Waterville and in the Scottish seniors at Blairgowrie and fourth in the European seniors in Spain. He also shared the Yorkshire senior title at Harrogate.

“This is as much as I could have wished for at the start of the season,” he said. “I expected to do well and to compete at this level and to possibly do some damage on the order of merit. But I was quietly confident especially after winning the English title because it is the second highest ranking tournament for seniors.”

In his ‘previous life’ East won the English Mid Amateur Championship three times, the British Mid Amateur in 2001 having finished runner-up in 1999, the Portuguese Mid Amateur in 2000 and the European Mid Amateur in 2009. Just a couple of months ago he won the French Mid Amateur.

East topped the Order of Merit with 115 points, over 40 ahead of Alan Mew (Stoneham, Hampshire), who finished runner-up alongside East in the Irish and Scottish seniors and also won all three of his games on his international debut for England in the European senior team championship in Poland.

Leading points totals

Titleist/FootJoy senior men’s Order of Merit

1.    Stephen East (Moortown) 115.00
2.    Alan Mew (Stoneham)  69.50
3.    Andrew Stracey (Denham)  68.00
4.    Tony McLure (Longhirst Hall)  57.00
5.    Rirchard Latham (Woodhall Spa) 45.50
6.    Tyrone Carter (Stevenage)  37.50
7.    Clive Jones (Golf de Toulouse) 34.50
8.    John Ambridge (Moor Park) 34.00
9.    Paul McGarry (Bridgnorth) 32.00
10.  David Lane (Goring & Streatley)  31.00
David Niven (Newbury& Crookham) 31.00

Ascot Golf senior ladies’ Order of Merit

1.    Cath Rawthore (Sale) 547.000
2.    Julie Brown (Trentham) 377.000
3.    Lulu Housman (Highgate) 242.333
4.    Amanda Mayne (Saltford) 170.000
5.    Debbie Richards (Burhill) 162.333
6.    Chris Quinn (Hockley) 150.000
7.    Jo Ashmore (Barnham Broom) 114.000
8.    Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest) 106.250
9.    Sue Dye (Delamere Forest) 102.650
10.  Gillian Mellor (Prestbury) 102.000
Tracy Bazell (Dorset) 102.000

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