Women’s County Champions descend on Woodhall Spa

It’s Women’s County Champion of Champions weekend with all three age groups descending on Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, for this year’s inter-county events.

The Girls’ will play their 36-hole scratch play event on Saturday, 7 September with a field including Surrey champion, 15-year-old England Girls’ squad member Rafiah Banday, from Royal Mid-Surrey.

Last year’s event, over the Green course at Frilford Heath, was won by Essex girls’ champion Sophie Wheeler, from Thorndon Park, who carded rounds of 70 and 71 to finish two shots ahead of Shropshire’s Sophie Johnson (Enville) and six in front of Cumbria’s Abby Roper (Seascale) and Cheshire’s Lucie Jamieson (Heswall). None of them return for this weekend’s event.

A strong field for the 36-hole Women’s County Champion of Champions, played at Woodhall Spa on Sunday, 8 September, includes Bethany Garton (Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire), Emily Slater (The Gog Magog, Cambs and Hunts) and Bel Wardle (Prestbury, Cheshire) as well as Welsh international Ffion Tynan, who plays out of Minchinhampton and is the Gloucestershire county champion.

Another player to look out for Lottie Woad (Farnham, Surrey) who has had a string of good finishes since winning her county championship in April, including a sixth place at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, a tie for sixth at the European Young Masters and an eighth place at the English Girls’ Under 16 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

12 months ago, Hannah Woodley, from Enmore Park, was the toast of Somerset when she fired rounds of 71 and 72 to complete a one-shot victory over Northumberland’s Ami Story (Bedlingtonshire) at Frilford Heath.

The Senior Women’s County Champion of Champions was inaugurated last year when it was played in tandem with the girls’ and women’s event in Oxfordshire and that practice is repeated this year with the first of the two rounds being played at Woodhall Spa on Saturday, 7 September and the second the following day.

Last year, Gloucestershire’s Alison Kelly (Cirencester) was crowned as champion when she won by two-shots from Cheshire’s Barbara Jamieson (Heswall) and she returns to defend her title against a field also including past English senior women’s champion, Lancashire’s Janet Melville (Royal Birkdale), and Norfolk’s Tracey Williamson (Royal Cromer). Andree Burtt, the Lincolnshire champion, has home advantage as a Woodhall Spa member.

Photos: Credit Leaderboard Photography.