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Teams set to battle for women’s county crown

Gloucestershire will defend their title next week when the English women’s county championship is played at Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk.

They won for the first time last year, on their sixth consecutive appearance at County Finals. Now, the South West side again face the challenge of teams from the other five England Golf women’s regions, including the host county of Suffolk, representing the East.

The other title contenders are Buckinghamshire from Midlands South, Hampshire from the South, Nottinghamshire from Midlands North and Yorkshire from the North.

The title of English women’s county champions is one of the most sought-after and the five-day round robin tournament is always a great show of passion and fine golf. It takes place from Monday to Friday, 18-22 September.

Suffolk and Buckinghamshire are seeking their first title; Nottinghamshire won for the first time in 2015; Hampshire have won four times, most recently in 2014; and Yorkshire have been champions 12 times, most recently in 2013.

Players include Suffolk’s Fiona Edmond, who was an England and GB&I international 25 years ago, before illness, six children and work put a stop to her golf. She returned to the game about three years ago, won the English senior women’s title at her first attempt in May and has just helped England win the silver medal at the European senior women’s team championship.

Yorkshire’s Rochelle Morris and Hampshire’s Kerry Smith have both played in the Curtis Cup, while Olivia Winning (Yorkshire) is another international and the two-time winner of the Scottish open stroke play championship.

Buckinghamshire’s Thalia Kirby and Daisy Kennedy were in the successful England U16 girls’ team which recently took on Switzerland. Thalia was also runner-up in the English U16 girls’ championship.

Gloucestershire have seven members of last year’s winning side in the nine-strong team for their title defence. Nottinghamshire, meanwhile, return with five of the players involved in their successful 2015 team, including two members of the England Golf staff – Women and Girls’ Participation Manager Lauren Spray and Nottinghamshire Club Support Officer Emily Cheshire.