The defending champion – who plays at Catterick in Yorkshire – will be joined by Hampshire’s Liz Bennett (Brokenhurst Manor) and Lancashire’s Florentyna Parker (Royal Birkdale).

They’re among 120 competitors from 31 English counties who make up a top-class field for this 72-hole championship. More than 20 of the players have handicaps of scratch or better – the lowest is Florentyna Parker who plays off plus-four.

The competitors include a host of internationals and champions, among them Hannah Barwood, from Knowle in Gloucestershire, who was 17 when she won the English ladies’ championship in May; and Rachel Jennings, 19, of Izaak Walton, Staffordshire, who is the French lady junior champion.  

Past winners of this title include Emma Brown, nee Duggleby, from Malton & Norton in Yorkshire. She gave warning of her 2008 intentions when she won the Astor Salver at The Berkshire last month.

The championship provides a domestic showcase for the talents of English players, like Jodi Ewart, who spend much of their time at university in America.

Jodi, 20, is a student at the University of New Mexico and is one of the leading players on the US women’s college circuit.

 

Other US students who are taking part in this championship include the 2007 English girls’ champion Ellie Givens from Blackwell Grange, Durham, her county colleague Anna Scott (Consett & District), Hertfordshire’s Hannah Burke (Mid Herts), Somerset’s Becky Dowell (Enmore Park) and Dorset’s Fern Grimshaw (Weymouth).

Among the youngest competitors are two players from Warwickshire. Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’) will celebrate her 14th birthday two days before the championship while Lauren Taylor (Rugby) remains 13 until late August.  They are both members of the Warwickshire team which has won through to the finals of the English county golf championship.

All competitors will play 18 holes on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, July 22 and 23, before the field is cut to the leading 36 players and ties who will contest the final two rounds on Thursday, July 24. The event will be played on  the par 72 Blue course which has been lengthened by 418 yards to 6020.

More details: www.englishwomensgolf.org