Gloucestershire student Sian James made a winning start to her qualifying campaign for the British universities strokeplay championship.

Sian, who plays at Bristol & Clifton and is a student at Birmingham University, holed a 12ft putt on the last at Princes Golf Club in Kent to snatch victory in the South East regional qualifying tournament.

She pipped English mid-amateur champion Lucy Williams (Mid-Herts), who is also a student at Birmingham. 

The two-day event was played in some of the most testing conditions ever experienced in a British universities event, with heavy rain and winds which reached gale force. However, all 12 women taking part completed the 36-hole competition. 

Both Sian and Lucy struck the ball well and, although they struggled on the slow, wet greens where the ball was rolling in the wind, they were rewarded with good scores in the conditions.  Both players have been members of English Women’s Golf Association squads.

This was the first of four England and Wales qualifying events for the championship, which is run by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). The other three will take place in the new year and the top seven players will go through to the final at Notts Golf Club from 21-24 April, where they will be joined by competitors from Scotland and Northern Ireland. 
  
Leading scores:
158 Sian James (Birmingham) 77, 81
159 Lucy Williams (Birmingham) 80, 79
162 Christina Peterson (Northumbria) 84 78
167 Katherine O’Connor (UW Newport) 79 88
169 Charlotte Hope (Birmingham) 83 86
170 Jessica Burrows  (Exeter)  85 85
172 Lucy Padley (Exeter) 85 87 

Full details: bucs.org.uk