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The Ladies’ British Amateur Championship 2013

7th May 2013

The Ladies’ British Amateur Championship 2013

The 111th staging of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship takes it to a new Ladies’ Golf Union venue ‐ the Jack Nicklaus‐designed Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club, near Llanelli in
South Wales.

Not many golf course designers get adjacent roads named after them but this course is on "Nicklaus Avenue, Machynys, Carmarthenshire!" The £3.5million course opened to a blaze of publicity in 2005 as a "modern" links course "old" links layouts don't have 25 acres of new salt and fresh water lakes, but this one has.

It was built to hold championships but also to be enjoyed by the higher handicap golfer, hence it has five sets of tees.

From the back tees, it measures 7,121yd. The composite course to be used from June 11 to 15 for the LGU's flagship event for amateurs will come in at 6,290yd, a little longer than when the four Ladies European Tour events were played at Machynys and Kirsty Taylor set the women's professional course record of 61.

On paper, the standard of competitors for the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship just keeps getting better. To get into next month's field, capped at 144, a player had to have a handicap of at least +0.2.

Andy George, Director of Golf at Machynys Peninsula G&CC, says: "We are very excited to welcome the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship and we are confident the course will provide a stern test for all the competitors. We have, in only eight years since opening, hosted an unprecedented eight championships."

Andy is not the only one looking forward with bated breath for arguably the biggest, most international ladies' amateur championship in the world.

Stephanie Meadow (Photo Courtesy LGU)

Stephanie Meadow from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland and a student at the University of Alabama, won the title over the Carnoustie links last June, says:
"Winning the British Amateur has been one of the most memorable moments in my golfing career. There are so many great names that have won this championship and I am so honoured to be a part of them. I am very excited about defending the title in June, but the championship is always fun, no matter the outcome."

The winner who steps up to receive the magnificent trophy on June 15 will also earn places in the starting fields at this year's Ricoh Women's British Open over the Old Course, St Andrews, the US Women's Open and the Evian Championship,if she is still an amateur when the relevant events are played.

After two rounds of stroke play, the 64 players with the lowest aggregates will go into the matchplay stages.

Of course, stroke play and matchplay are two completely different forms of the game, borne out, perhaps, by the fact that Stephanie Meadow qualified in 51st position and the Spanish player she beat in the final, Rocio Sanchez Lobato, was near the cut off mark in 60th place.

Miss Meadow is not the only former winner of the championship among the entries. Lauren Taylor (Woburn) from Rugby and a student at Baylor University, Texas, became the youngest ever winner of the coveted title at Royal Portrush GC in 2011 when she was only 16.

In fact, the last three Ladies' British Open Amateur Champions have been British Kelly Tidy in 2010 being followed by Miss Taylor then Miss Meadow.

The last time that happened was in 1993 '94 '95 with the victories by Catriona Lambert (now Matthew), Emma Duggleby and Julie Hall (now Otto).

To find the last sequence of four successive title wins by British players, one has to go back to the 1980s. Mind you, the British and Irish have a strong hand again this year with Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak),
ranked No 6 in the world, and Stephanie Meadow (ranked No 7).

Stephanie beat Georgia in the semi-finals at Carnoustie.
Having said that, there are three more players from the world's top 20 female amateurs in the field for Machynys and they are all Continentals: No. 3 Su Hyun Oh (Australia) No. 12 Celine Boutier (France), No. 16 Linnea Strom (Sweden) and No 20 Camilla Hedberg (Spain).

The winners of the Portuguese and Spanish open amateur titles earlier in the year Clara Baena Sanchez (Spain) and Emily Pedersen (Denmark) have entered and so too has Laura Funfstuck (Germany) who won the French Under21 girls' title in early April.

A bit closer to home, Amy Boulden (Conwy), a member of the GB and I Curtis Cup‐winning team as Stephanie Meadow was at Nairn last June, won the Welsh women's open stroke play recently and is chasing a place in the squad of nine for the Vagliano Trophy match at Chantilly at the end of June.

World Amateur Golf Rankings will play their part in the selection of both the GB and I, and the Continent of Europe teams for that match and individual performances at Machynys will be important in that context.

About the Ladies’ Golf Union (“LGU”)
Founded in 1893, the LGU is the encompassing body for ladies’ amateur golf in Great Britain & Ireland. The LGU Executive Council includes representatives of ladies’ golf’s national governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Operational activities are undertaken by a wholly owned subsidiary, LGU Championships Limited (“LGUCL”), which in particular owns and runs the Ricoh Women’s British Open, founded by the LGU in 1976 and one of the four Major Tournaments for Professional Women golfers. LGUCL also has responsibility for running British Amateur Championships and Home International events, and preparing the Great Britain & Ireland teams for representative matches, such as the Curtis Cup and the Vagliano Trophy.

Further information about the LGU is available on www.lgu.org.







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