Emma Brown wins Yorkshire ladies golf double to pique England’s interest

YORKSHIRE’S former Curtis Cup player Emma Brown caused a blip on English senior women’s captain Angela Jones’s radar as soon as she turned 50 and became eligible for veterans golf.

In a 10-day period that blip will have registered more like a sonic boom when the Malton & Norton player won the Yorkshire veterans’ championship at her first attempt before claiming her fourth county ladies championship, at Richmond and Alwoodley respectively.

The former British ladies champion saw off Lindrick 19-year-old Mia Eales Smith 4&3 in the final of the latter to complement two wins under her maiden name of Duggleby (2000 and 2002) with two in her married name of Brown (2013 and 2022). Brown’s roles as Ganton’s assistant secretary, mother and wife have reduced her playing opportunities in recent years, but she is excited by the thought of being considered for a return to the international stage after Jones contacted her to enquire about her plans.

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“She got in touch and then we had a chat on Zoom,” said Brown, who chose participation in the Yorkshire championship ahead of this week’s English seniors championship in Wiltshire out of a mixture of loyalty and pragmatism, the latter putting a premium on both time and financial expenditure.

Emma Brown: Won the Yorkshire Championship for a fourth time. (Picture: Chris Stratford)

“The Yorkshire championship’s great,” said Brown, who at Alwoodley progressed from the stroke play qualifying to the match play stages for the 29th consecutive county championship. “Alwoodley’s a lovely course and to come here and see friends – three of my older friends who I used to play county golf with have come down to watch – and to see all the officials, it’s just wonderful. It’s nice to still be competing because there will come a time when I can’t compete against the youngsters to this level.”

Beaten semi-finalists were the host club’s Sara Gilmore and Aaliyah Hryniewieka-Irwin. Three-time former champion Megan Wileman, of Selby, returning to competitive golf after the birth of her now 11-month-old son, took home the Elliott Trophy for the best 36-hole gross score with rounds of 75 and 68.

Zara Ali (Cookridge Hall) had the best first round gross score of 71 and Amy Staveley (Ganton) the best in round two with a course record 67.

Brown also garnered the Silver Salver for the top aggregate among the seniors of 147 (74 and 73) with Heather Staniforth (Hallamshire) runner-up (82 and 79). Winner of the Silver Salver awarded for the last day’s 18-hole gross event was Ali, her 71 besting Howley Hall’s Becki O’Grady by one.

Emma Brown embracing Mia Eales Smith (Lindrick) after completing her win in the Yorkshire championship final (Picture: Chris Stratford)

Hessle’s Grace Lambert won the Silver Salver for best 18-hole nett with a 69, one ahead of Ali.

Elsewhere, Yorkshire men began the defence of their Northern Counties league title by edging out their hosts Cheshire 10-8 at Wallasey.

Nerves were jangling before Huddersfield’s Adam Walker, the reigning White Rose match play champion, won his singles to complement his morning foursomes victory alongside Lewis Hollingworth (Rotherham).

Wath’s George Mason and George Ash, of Hallowes, also finished with perfect records on the day having teamed up to win the lead-off foursomes tussle by a convincing 5&4 margin.

Max Berrisford (Shipley) was undefeated after triumphing in the singles having tied his foursomes match alongside England Golf Boys’ Champion of Champions and recent Scottish Boys’ Open winner Dylan Shaw-Radford, of Huddersfield.

Yorkshire will be on the road again on June 11 for their second match of the season when they face Northumberland at City of Newcastle.