A selection of Great Britain and Ireland’s top female PGA pros will tee up against rising stars of the future in the inaugural WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland from September 26-28.
The 54-hole tournament, which is sponsored by the host venue, is the only Ladies European Tour Access Series event scheduled in the United Kingdom.
Among the golfers looking for a share of the £25,000 prize fund will be Lucy Williams who captured the Glenmuir Women’s PGA Professional Championship earlier in the year and is hoping to make her way on tour.
Also there will be will be reigning WPGA One Day Series winner Joanne Oliver with the Knebworth pro high on confidence after consistent good performances fired her to the top of the Order of Merit, which was played over seven rounds throughout the year.
The highlight of her campaign came at South Herts in July, where she stood up to a strong challenge from Suzanne Dickens to claim a two-shot victory, and put herself in pole position to win the series.
She will now battle for victory against a 120-strong international field which will include WPGA Members and 20 elite female amateurs.
Among them will be former Solheim Cup winning captain and US Women’s Open champion Alison Nicholas.
Now a fully qualified PGA Professional, Nicholas, who was awarded an MBE in 1997 for her services to golf, will serve as a reminder of the rewards that can follow success at this level of the sport.
Simon Higginbottom, The PGA’s head of tournaments, said: “Alison Nicholas has been at the forefront of women’s golf in the UK and across the world for two decades.
“She is an inspirational figure to many of today’s leading women players, and to have a player of her calibre competing at Stoke by Nayland will no doubt inspire the next generation.”
Sandy Jones, chief executive of The PGA, said: “This event presents our elite-level women golfers with a great chance to progress their tournament careers and I take this opportunity to wish them all good luck and success.”
The other PGA Professionals playing at Stoke by Nayland are Fern Grimshaw, Suzanne Dickens, Katie Rule, Hayleigh Wigmore, Sophie Daws, Laura Harvey, Keely Chiericato, Sian James, Anna Smith, Sarah Smith, Marie Allen, Joanne Taylor, Kimberley Crooks, Rebecca West, Zoe North, Katrina Holford and Leanne Ball.