Strokeplay champion Sarah-Jane Boyd earns place in England elite squad
TRURO'S British ladies' amateur strokeplay champion Sarah-Jane Boyd has been selected for training with England Golf's Performance Squad.
The 21-year-old star, who thrilled her local fans with a stunning victory to claim the British strokeplay crown at Belfast's Shandon Park back in August, will be joined in the four-woman squad by British girls' champion and European women's No 1 Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), Curtis Cup player Bronte Law (Bramhall) and English strokeplay champion Alex Peters (Notts Ladies).
Boyd's selection is recognition of her spectacular progress during a dazzling 2012 campaign that saw her crowned Cornwall champion for a fourth time before going on to win the South West title as well.
Her crowning glory in Belfast was the icing on the cake in a season of almost uninterrupted success and led to her almost inevitable selection for training with English golf's elite players for the 2013 season.
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And she had her first taste of training with the national squad at Woodhall Spa at the end of last month.
She said: "The two days we had up there was quite intense, with a lot of short game practise as well as fitness work, though we couldn't play on the course itself as it was flooded at the time."
Next on her agenda with England Golf will be Christmas camps from December 17 at Sandburn Hall and then Fulford Heath, both in Yorkshire, before finishing up at Loughborough University.
"I'm really enjoying being part of the national set-up and it makes all the hard work I've put in this year worthwhile," Boyd added.
Steve Rickard, Cornwall's captain for the last two years, will be carrying on in the role for a third year, it was agreed unanimously at a CGU meeting at Lanhydrock last week.
His vice-captain Richard Simmons had been due to take over the reins last month.
But a combination of family commitments and business relocation led to him asking the CGU executive if he could delay taking on the captaincy for a year.
As well as having two small children at home, Simmons, with his brother Peter, have recently relocated their Golf International magazine from London to Trevose, where owner Nick Gammon has provided them with the necessary facilities for them to run their monthly publication.
"It just makes more sense to delay it for a year because of all the travelling involved and with Steve due to retire from the police force early next year," Simmons said.
Rickard himself is delighted to be able to carry as captain on for another year.
"I really enjoy it and we've got a good young team coming through," he said.
"I feel we're destined to win something in the next couple of years."
Last season Cornwall were only pipped on countback by Devon for the Channel League title and Rickard was pleased he would have another chance to go one better in 2013.
He also praised the Simmons brothers for the "great support" they give to golf in Cornwall through their magazine.
Killiow professional Richard Sadler shot a two under par round for 38 Stableford points to win the individual professional's prize at the latest meeting of the Tulip Cornwall Professional Golfers' Alliance played in cold, breezy but mercifully dry conditions at Bude and North Cornwall last week.
He finished three shots clear of Lanhydrock pro Jamie O'Hara on 35 points, while the amateur award went to Carlyon Bay's Will Sumner, playing with Sadler, who pipped his clubmate Graham Hawken on countback after both players returned 41 points.
Results. Amateurs – 1, Will Sumner (Carlyon Bay), playing with Killiow pro Richard Sadler, 41 pts; 2, Graham Hawken (Carlyon Bay), playing with his club pro Paul Turpin, 41; 3, Nigel Goodman & Terry Carthew (Bowood Park) 40; 4, Dick Knight (Launceston), playing with Bude & N Cornwall pro Mark Yeo, 40; 5, Brian Waters (St Austell), playing with pro Ben Waters, 39; 6, Geoff Saunders & Sid Pascoe (Lostwithiel) 39. Team professionals – 1=, Paul Turpin, Richard Sadler 41 pts; 3, Mark Yeo 40. Individual professionals – 1, Richard Sadler 38 pts; 2, Jamie O'Hara (Lanhydrock) 35; 3, Nick Williams (St Enodoc) 34.
Two golf clubs from Cornwall were among 20 clubs nationwide nominated for the prestigious GolfMark Club of the Year award , supported by Cobra Puma Golf.
A judging panel from the England Golf Partnership selected the shortlisted clubs, but Mullion and St Austell, although praised for their outstanding record of working with juniors and beginners through their activities and approach, did not make it through to the final three, the winner from which will be announced shortly.