Woodsome Hall’s Rochelle Morris lifted by Curtis Cup invitation ahead of new season

Woodsome Hall's Rochelle Morris.
Woodsome Hall's Rochelle Morris.
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WOODSOME Hall’s Rochelle Morris has earned recognition for her fabulous summer by being included in a group of players who have been invited to take part in a Curtis Cup familiarisation session.

It will take place at Dun Laoghaire GC, near Dublin, which will stage the biennial match between Great Britain & Ireland and their USA counterparts next June.

Morris placed second in both the English women’s amateur championship and the English women’s open stroke play championship, but was disappointingly overlooked for England Golf’s women’s squad for 2015-16.

However, the 20-year-old has been lifted by the Curtis Cup invite while accepting a lot of hard work lies ahead if she is to make the final team, which will be announced in April.

Six players will gain automatic selection – the top four GB & Ireland players in the world golf rankings and the top two in the Ladies Golf Union Order of Merit.

Morris, the 2014 Yorkshire champion, currently lies third in the latter and said: “It’s a pretty fair system. If you don’t play well, you don’t get in, but if you do play well, you’re in.

“I’ve just got to perform.”

Two other players will be selected to complete captain Elaine Farquharson-Black’s line-up.

“We will have uniform fittings, but we obviously know not everyone is going to get into the team,” said Morris.

“But I was excited to get the invitation.

“To hear that after not getting into the England women’s squad was definitely good news.”

In January she will head for the highly-regarded Spanish resort of La Manga for some warm weather training.

The accommodation for the trip has been arranged by Cornwall’s Sammie Giles – the woman whose successful sinking of a 15ft putt at the last hole denied Morris a play-off for the English women’s open stroke play title at St Annes Old Links.

Morris said: “I will have three weeks in La Manga, fly home and then go to Portugal (for the Portuguese ladies amateur championship).

“Sammie is a friend and she’s sorted out things at La Manga as she knows some people who have a villa there.

“I’ve been there before with my mum and dad, but I’ve not played the courses.”

Since the season ended, she has been working on some “fine-tuning” with her coach, Woodsome Hall club professional John Eyre, and will make use of Skype so she can tap into his knowledge while in Spain.

“We’ll Skype and I’ll send videos back to John for assessment,” she said.

“it will get quite intense as I’ll be trying to get ready for the Curtis Cup.

“We’ve been working on fine-tuning stuff so hopefully I’ll be okay before I go out and if I need any further help – any tweaks – John will be there for me.

“Nothing is really drastically wrong; it’s just chipping away at all elements of my game to make them progressively better.

“I’ll probably see him during the couple of days I’m back from La Manga before I go to Portugal.”

Being one of the country’s top women amateur golfers means there is a lot of pressure on her in terms of playing commitments, but she is delighted that she will be able to attempt to wrest back the county crown, at Huddersfield GC in May.

“I can play the Yorkshire amateur, it fits into my schedule, so I’m really looking forward to that,” she said. “Being at Huddersfield means I can sleep in my own bed during the event.”

Morris is keeping an eye on South Africa where fellow Woodsome Hall player Chris Hanson is playing in his first European Tour event after winning his card last week.

“We’re all so excited for Chris,” she said. “I didn’t manage to get to the evening event they held for him to celebrate, but my mum and dad went up and said it was really emotional – my mum was one of those who were crying.”