Girl power will switch on in English Open

MORE than 250 young players will battle for honours in the English girls’ open championships at Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club next week.

It will be the first time that all three championships – for the U18, U16 and U14 age groups – are played simultaneously at the same club.

The action is from 26-28 July when the competitors will aim to follow in the footsteps of top tournament professionals Charley Hull, Holly Clyburn and Melissa Reid, who were all girl champions in various age groups in their amateur days.

Tournament director Scott Allison said: “The championships will be a fantastic showcase for girls’ golf and we’d love to welcome lots of spectators to see some excellent play.”

Bill Mackenzie, The Nottinghamshire’s managing director, added: “To have more than 250 of the best girl golfers in the UK and Europe coming to see what we have here is fantastic.

“We are very proud that, after four years of significant investment by our owner Alan Hardy, England Golf has awarded us this prestigious event and made us a Championship Venue.”

The players in this year’s events range in age from 11–year-old Harriet Lockley, an eight-handicapper from Isle of Wedmore in Somerset, to 18-year-olds; while the lowest handicappers play off plus three.

The fields also includes players from across Europe who will take on the best of the young English talent.

All six players who represented England in the recent European team championship are playing. Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale) Sharna Dutrieux (Wrotham Heath), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer) are in the U18s, while Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer) and Lily May Humphreys (Channels) are in the U16s.

Humphreys has moved up an age group since winning the 2015 U14 title, while last year’s U16 champion, Cloe Frankish (Chart Hills), has moved up to the U18s. The U14 field includes Annabell Fuller (Roehampton) who recently won the girls’ title at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Her older sister, Sammy, won the U13 title – as it then was – in 2011 and is in this year’s U18 field. Last year she helped England win both the girls’ and women’s 2015 Home Internationals.

The U18 and U16 championships are both played over 72 holes, while the U14s is over 54. There will be a cut in all championships after 36 holes. The older girls will play the English girls’ amateur championship on the Open Course, while the U14s and U6s will tackle the Masters Course.

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