Hampshire’s Chris Quinn (pictured right) aims to continue a fabulous winning run when she defends her title in the English seniors’ championship at Littlestone, Kent, next week from 20-23 April.
The Hockley player dominated senior golf last season when she won both this event and the strokeplay championship, taking her honours total to one British and four English titles.
The championship, which launches the English Women’s Golf Association season, has attracted a bumper entry of 114 players from 29 counties – including one who is based in France. The lowest handicaps are scratch and belong to Chris Quinn and fellow international and past strokeplay champion, Janet Melville of Nottinghamshire.
Kent has provided an excellent entry of 16 players and nine of them are members of the host club. They include Geraldine Bray, who won the senior strokeplay championship in 2006 and represented England later that year.
Every member of last year’s senior international team is playing. In addition to Chris Quinn and Janet Melville they are: Rozalyn Adams of Surrey, Jo Ashmore of Norfolk, Sue Dye of Cheshire, Lucy Newton of Northumberland and Paula Parker of Cambs & Hunts.
Seven members of the field are eligible for this event for the first time, having recently celebrated their 50th birthdays. Lulu Housman of Highgate in Middlesex, in particular, is making a quick start to senior golf. She turns 50 just four days before the start! Lulu is a two-handicapper and was Middlesex county champion in 2007. In all, 37 of the players, around a third of the field, are aged 55 or under.
The course will be set at 5782 yards, with a par and USGA SSS of 73. Littlestone was the host venue of the 2007 English Close Championship and is a venue regularly used for major amateur and professional events. It will host final qualifying for the 2011 Open Championship.
All competitors will play two rounds of strokeplay qualifying, 18 holes on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20 and 21. The leading 16 players will contest the championship matchplay flight while the next 16 players will play in Flight Two. The matchplay stages will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 22 and 23. Spectators are welcome.
Full details, live scoring and daily championship reports: www.englishwomensgolf.org
photos Janos Schmidt