Women and girls join county champions’ weekend

Tilly Kedzlie

County champions’ weekend is almost here and, for the first time this year, women and girls from across the country will join the title hunt at Woodhall Spa Golf Club, the home of England Golf.

They’ll play on the Bracken course to find their champions of champions, while the boys, men and senior men tackle the Hotchkin course.

The women and girl county champions on parade this weekend will include Caitlin Whitehead of Cumbria, who recently won the Scottish U14 girls’ title, and Georgia Price of Cornwall, who was runner-up in the English women’s stroke play and third in the British strokeplay.

There will be a family double for the Kedzlies of Spalding in Lincolnshire, when 15-year-old Tilly plays in the girls’ event (image © Leaderboard Photography) while her twin, Hugo – an England U16 international – competes in the boys’ championship.

Among the other players in the boys’ event are Lancashire’s Oliver Clarke, a member of England’s winning team at the Boys’ Home Internationals; U16 international Charlie Hilton of Sussex; Jake Bolton, who has just helped Wiltshire retain the Boys’ County Championship; and Gloucestershire’s Nathan Moore, who was in Long Ashton’s winning team at the Junior Champion Club tournament.

The competitors in the men’s championship include England and GB&I boy international Toby Briggs of Norfolk; Martin Young of Hampshire, a past English mid-amateur champion; and Yorkshire’s Ben Hutchinson, the 2016 winner of the Scrutton Jug for the best combined score in the Brabazon and Berkshire Trophies.

Surrey’s Keith Waters will defend his title in the senior men’s championship, aiming to become the first back-to-back winner since the event started in 2011.

His challengers will include English senior champion Richard Latham of Lincolnshire, who will be playing on home ground at Woodhall Spa, and fellow senior international David Niven of Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BB&O). Latham and Niven have just returned from the senior European championships in Slovenia where they were in England’s bronze-medal winning team.

The boys, men and senior men will all play over 36 holes, while restrictions on course availability mean the women and girls will play 18 holes for this year only.

The boys play their event on Saturday, September 10; while the men, women and girls play on Sunday, September 11. The senior men play 18 holes on Saturday and Sunday.