Sammie Giles in title defence

Sammie Giles

Cornwall’s Sammie Giles will defend her title when the English women’s open matchplay championship is played next week at Trentham Golf Club, Staffordshire, from 2-4 July.

There have been some changes to the championship since the St Mellion player won last year at Bath. It’s no longer a mid-amateur event, but is open to all age groups – and the move has attracted an entry of 19 players aged under 18.

Among them is Giles’s younger sister, Megan, who will celebrate her 16th birthday later in July. The youngest competitor is Morgan Thomas from Beau Desert who is 14 and a member of the England Golf U16 West Midlands squad.

The teenager is also one of six Staffordshire players in the field. There are three representatives of Trentham: senior international Julie Brown, her daughter Emily Coleman and Emily Brennan. They are joined by Bronwyn Davies of Wolstanton and Samantha Meese from Enville.

The championship has attracted a full field of 64 players, including England internationals Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) and Bethan Popel (Long Ashton), together with a fellow member of the England Golf women’s squad, Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe).

There are a number of past champions in the field. Elizabeth Mallett (Wishaw) and Sophie Keech (Parkstone) have both won the English girls’ title, while Olivia Wining (Rotherham) has won the Helen Holm Scottish open stroke play and Harriet Allsebrook (Shifnal) has been English U15 champion.

All competitors will play 36 holes stroke play on Thursday, July 2. The leading 16 players will qualify for the matchplay which will be played on Friday and Saturday July 3 and 4. Spectators are welcome.

Caption: Sammie Giles (Image © Leaderboard Photography).