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Lead is shared in senior championship

24th April 2013

Lead is shared in senior championship

Karen Lobb (image © Leaderboard Photography)
Cheshire's Cath Rawthore made an impressive debut in the English senior women's championship when she shared the lead after the first round at Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Nottinghamshire.

Cath, who was playing in the last group on the course, shot three-over 75 to tie Northamptonshire's Karen Lobb, who was among the early starters. They are two shots clear of their closest challengers at the end of a testing day when persistent winds resulted in firm fairways and fast greens.

Cath, a Cheshire county player, is playing her first season of senior golf, having passed her 50th birthday at the end of February. “I played nice and steady and was just happy to come off with a reasonable score. I thoroughly enjoyed it,” she said.

It could have been even better: she three-putted three times in four holes, including the par-five ninth, which she had reached in two.

Meanwhile, Karen Lobb (image © Leaderboard Photography) drew on her experience of links golf to fashion her score. Her home club is Northamptonshire County but she plays a lot at Le Touquet and said: “This course is in beautiful condition but the wind is very difficult and it was hard to find a landing area to get to the greens.

“I play a lot of links golf and I just tried to control the ball and play for position – and I was very pleased when I added it up. Ecstatic!  It's a lovely start, but tomorrow is another day and I shall just start again.”

Five players are tied in third place on 77, including defending champion Chris Quinn of Hockley in Hampshire. “It was a good score after my start,” she declared as she reviewed an outward nine of four over par.

“It was so tricky: downwind, with the pins fairly near the front and I got a bit defensive which didn't do any good. On the back nine it was more a case of ‘Blow this, I'm going to start playing golf!'  

She came home in one-over par, with two bogeys and a “very good” birdie on 13 where she holed a downhill putt of around 18ft. “It was tough but as we get to know the course better, hopefully we'll get used to the wind.”

Among the other players on 77 is Sue Penfold who, as a member of the host club, leads the home challenge. She played the front nine impressively in level par, but three bogeys and a double on the last pushed her score up.

She's four ahead of club colleague, Caron Harrison, and a further shot clear of Janet Melville, another Sherwood member - and one of the tournament favourites. The English stroke play champion was disappointed with her 82 but will be back tomorrow to target a place in the championship matchplay. “I'm not out of it,” she said.

“The course is as difficult as I've ever played it and I've been a member for 25 years,” said Janet. “Two weeks of wind have dried the course out and it's very hard, with very fast greens.”

After tomorrow's second round the top 16 players will qualify for the championship matchplay while the next 16 will contest the second flight. There will be a consolation stableford for non-qualifiers on Thursday morning.

Leading scores
Par 72 CSS 75
75 Karen Lobb (Northamptonshire County), Cath Rawthore (Sale)
77 Chris Quinn (Hockley), Lulu Housman (Highgate), Jo Rumsey (Rochford Hundred), Ruth Lindley (Hartlepool), Sue Penfold (Sherwood Forest)
79 Carol Wild (Notts Ladies'), Lindsay Shaw (Chevin), Angela Jones (Belgium)

For full scores visit

Notes for Readers:-
England Golf is the governing body for amateur golf in England.
England Golf was formed on 1st January 2012 following the merger of the English Golf Union Ltd. and the English Women's Golf Association and is one of the largest sports governing bodies in England looking after the interests of over 1,900 golf clubs and 770,000 men and women club members.

Responsible for the training of the country's top amateur golfers, England Golf also organises all the major English amateur championships. England Golf works to actively encourage new golfers and increase the continued interest and participation in golf through its golf development initiative ‘Get into Golf'.

England Golf is a member of The England Golf Partnership (EGP) together with the PGA and supported by the Golf Foundation and Sport England. Their Whole Sport Plan for golf identifies how England will achieve its vision of becoming ‘The Leading Golf Nation in the World by 2020' from grass roots right through to elite level.

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