The LGU has announced the Great Britain & Ireland team for the forthcoming Astor Trophy Tournament to be held at Fairhaven Golf Club, Lytham St Annes in Lancashire from 15-19 June. Formerly known as the Commonwealth Tournament, the Astor Trophy Tournament is contested every four years between teams of top women amateur golfers from Great Britain & Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
The five players who will defend the title won at Royal Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2007 are: -
AMY BOULDEN, 17, of Llandudno Maesdu Golf Club in North Wales.
Voted Welsh Amateur Golfer of the Year in 2010 when she played in the Junior Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles and represented Wales in the Espirito Santo Trophy tournament in Argentina where she finished a highly creditable fourth in the final individual standings. She also played in the Ricoh Women's British Open championship at Royal Birkdale and made the cut in a European Ladies Tour event, the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.
Amy was a Curtis Cup reserve last year when she won the Bridget Jackson Bowl open tournament and finished runner-up to Pamela Pretswell in the Ladies British open amateur stroke-play championship at Tenby GC, South Wales. Again at Tenby, Amy finished third in this year's Welsh women's open amateur stroke-play championship on May 1.
As a youngster, Amy was a member of the Wales team which made golfing history by winning the Women's Home Internationals' title at Wrexham in 2008 and then retained it at Irvine in Scotland in 2009.
HOLLY CLYBURN, 20, of Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Lincolnshire.
A member of last year's Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team in America, and England international. She played in the 2010 US amateur championship took part in final qualifying for the Ricoh Women's British Open and represented England in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. She was the 2009 English girls' champion, runner-up in the 2010 U21 event in the Faldo Series Asia grand final in China, and was the 2009 Faldo Series girls' champion. She was runner-up in the Dixie Women's Amateur in the US in both 2010 and 2011 and fourth in this year's Harder Hall Invitational. She tied third in the 2011 Helen Holm Scottish open stroke-play championship and had a top ten finish in the Welsh open stroke-play. Says she wants to stay an amateur at least until the 2012 Curtis Cup match at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland.
KELSEY MACDONALD, 20, of Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, Inverness-shire.
Kelsey was brought up almost on the first tee of Nairn Dunbar Golf Club. Her family home is just across the road from the golf course. Kelsey has a twin brother. A student at the University of Stirling, she won the British universities' ladies stroke-play championship by 17 strokes at West Lancs GC in April. Last year she won the Scottish ladies' amateur championship at Craigielaw and then reached the final of the ladies' British amateur championship at Ganton before losing to Kelly Tidy.
In 2010, Kelsey also won the R&A's Foundation Scholars' Tournament's women's title at St Andrews.
She played in the Scotland team that won bronze medals at last year's European women's team championship in Spain and, in September, played No 1 in the singles for the Scotland team that won the Ladies' Home Internationals title at Whitchurch (Cardiff) for the first time in 19 years.
Scottish Under-21 champion for the past two years, Kelsey's ambition is to play in the 2012 Curtis Cup match in her hometown of Nairn in North of Scotland. She was a reserve for the 2010 match.
PAMELA PRETSWELL, 22, of Bothwell Castle Golf Club, Lanarkshire.
Pamela was a leading member of the Scotland team, which won the Ladies' Home Internationals title at Whitchurch (Cardiff) last September for the first time in 19 years. Earlier in 2010, Pamela played in the Scotland team that won bronze medals in the European women's team championship in Spain.
Also last year, which was a very big one for Pamela, she made her Curtis Cup debut for Great Britain & Ireland in the match at Essex County Club, Massachusetts and won the ladies' British open amateur stroke-play championship at Tenby Golf Club, South Wales.
She led almost throughout in last year's Austrian international women's amateur championship before being pipped by a stroke but she does have one Continental title on her CV - the Swiss women's amateur crown, which she won on a holiday trip two or three years ago.
The Glasgow University student - she graduates this month (May 2011) - from Hamilton was a top-ranked tennis junior, rubbing shoulders with Andy Murray and Co at the age of 14, and she was also in the Scotland junior badminton squad. Then she switched to golf and seven years later she was a Curtis Cup player!
KELLY TIDY, 19, of Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Lancashire.
Kelly is the 2010 ladies' British amateur champion and played in the 2010 Ricoh Women's British Open on her home course. She has also twice been runner-up in the British girls' championship. Kelly has played in three junior European teams: twice in the Junior Ryder Cup team and once in the PING Junior Solheim Cup. She is an England international and was in the team of three at the Women's World Amateur Team Championship. Last year she was also runner up in the Daily Telegraph/Abu Dhabi Championship
Places in the home teams for this tournament have traditionally been much sought after, with players vying to be recognised as one of the top five home talents and keen to pit their skills against highly competitive players from countries further a field than the home nations or Europe.
GB&I Team Captain Tegwen Matthews expressed her satisfaction with the team she will lead in June. "Few opportunities exist for players of this standing to test themselves head to head against such strong international opposition. We have an ideal mix of experienced players and fresh talent and are looking forward to a truly competitive week of matches in June".
In a surprise move, all four Irish players in the GB&I squad ruled themselves out for selection for the Astor Trophy Team.
LGU Chairman Gillian Kirkwood said, "Of course this decision is disappointing, particularly since the rules of the former Commonwealth Tournament were changed to accommodate Irish players. However the strength in depth in the top amateur ranks within Great Britain & Ireland is such that a world class team has been selected to defend the Astor Trophy at Fairhaven.”