England Women’s squad is slimmed down to four with overseas players to be added

The four members of the 2020 England Women’s Squad
Clockwise (top left): Lily May Humphreys, from Essex, Cornwall’s Emily Toy, Charlotte Heath, from Yorkshire, and Somerset’s Mimi Rhodes, who make up the England Women’s squad

THE national selectors have named the players who will make up a much smaller England Women’s Squad for 2020, alongside announcing the make-up of the Girls’ group.

Four of the country’s top talents will lead the way for the women in the season ahead with Yorkshire’s Charlotte Heath and Somerset’s Mimi Rhodes promoted from last year’s U18 squad.

They are joined by reigning Women’s Amateur champion Emily Toy, from Cornwall’s Carlyon Bay, who is named alongside Essex’s Curtis Cup player, Lily May Humphreys, who won three times in 2019.

Huddersfield’s Heath, who started the new year by winning the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship, is joined by the 2019 Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Masters winner, Rhodes, from Burnham & Berrow.

All four who feature in the UK-based squad – that has been slimmed down from seven to four places – are pictured above.

Next week, England Women’s overseas squad – comprising of players based abroad and completing studies – will be named.

FARNHAM Golf club’s England U16 international Lottie Woad
Farnham’s Lottie Woad, crowned 2019 Surrey Ladies Amateur Champion at just 16, is in the England Girls squad for 2020. Picture by LEADERBOARD PHOTOGRAPHY

The Girls’ squad features real strength in depth. Northumberland trio Rosie Belsham, Jess Baker and Rachel Gourley are joined by Surrey’s record-breaker Lottie Woad and Rafiah Banday.

The two counties comprise five of the seven selected to represent England at U18 level although players outside the squad can be picked on current form as the season progresses, and as well at women’s level.

Cumbria’s Caitlin Whitehead and US-based Ellie Gower complete the seven-strong Girls’ squad.

England women’s performance manager Rebecca Hembrough insists the job of selecting the squads for 2020 was trickier than ever due to the quality of players at all levels of the women’s and girls’ game.

“We are very excited to finally announce the national squads for 2020,” said Hembrough.

“They are a strong and dedicated group of young women that have been challenging themselves and one another with the support of the coaching programme since October.

“There were some extremely tough decisions to make, but the squad sizes were reduced to provide more individualised coaching support with an eye on a big year at the Europeans, Home Internationals and World Amateur Team Championships.

“We fully envisage selections to continue to be very competitive this year and we’re really excited by this.”

Espirito and Europeans selection poser for England Women’s squad

The Club de Golf Escorpion in Valencia, Spain will stage the European Ladies’ Team Championships between July 7-11.

On the same dates, the European Girls’ Team Championships will take place at Rosa GC, in Poland.

The Home Internationals will take place at Harlech’s Royal St David’s Golf Club, in Wales, between August 5 and 7.

England’s Women and Girls team will defend titles won last year at a rain-soaked Downfield Golf Club, in Dundee.

The 2020 World Amateur Team championships will be held at the Tanah Merah Country Club, in Singapore, from October 14-17, after organisers switched the Espirito Trophy contest from its original venue in Hong Kong.

Both the women’s and girls’ squads will fly to Quinta Do Lago, in Portugal, over the coming days for a warm-weather training camp as they continue preparations for the season.

Women’s squad (age in brackets)
Charlotte Heath (18) – Huddersfield GC, Yorkshire
Lily May Humphreys (17) – Stoke by Nayland GC, Essex
Mimi Rhodes (18) – Burnham and Berrow GC, Somerset
Emily Toy (22) – Carlyon Bay GC, Cornwall

Girls’ squad
Jess Baker (17) – Gosforth Park Ladies GC, Northumberland
Rafiah Banday (16) – Royal Mid Surrey GC, Surrey
Rosie Belsham (18) – Whitley Bay GC, Northumberland
Rachel Gourley (15) – Arcot Hall GC, Northumberland
Ellie Gower (17) –  based in America
Caitlin Whitehead (17) – Carus Green GC, Cumbria
Lottie Woad (16) – Farnham GC, Surrey

2019 European Ladies Amateur Champion Alice Hewson, from Berkhamsted GC, who will play on the Ladies European Tour in 2020
Berkhamsted’s Alice Hewson who was crowned European Ladies Amateur Champion in 2019 is now plying her trade as a professional after earning her LET card at Q-School last month. Picture by LEADERBOARD GOLF

From the USA to the LET for Hewson

TWO of last year’s USA-based members of the England Women’s squad have joined the professional ranks for the 2020 season.

Berkhamsted’s European Ladies Amateur Champion Alice Hewson, who spent four years in the States, at Clemson University turned pro in the autumn.

The two-time Curtis Cup player will be playing on the Ladies European Tour in 2020 after finishing fifth at Qualifying School, in January, in Spain.

Woodhall Spa’s India Clyburn has also turned pro after missing the cut at the final stage of LET Q-School while Meon Valley’s Emma Allen has graduated from the University of Missouri.

Roehampton sisters Annabell and Samantha Fuller have both been studying in the States.

They will again come into contention for the overseas players squad, along with fellow 2019 squad member Lianna Bailey, from Kirby Muxloe, who is in her second season at Oklahoma State.

Royal Cromer’s Amelia Williamson is in Florida, playing for the Seminoles, while Berkhamsted’s former English School Girls champion Hannah Screen left the University of Houston team in the autumn, after starting her her season season in Texas.

West Lancashire’s Holly Muse has transfered from Daytona State to join the Wildcats at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, having finished fourth at the NCJAA Championships, in May.

In 2019, there were seven places in the UK-based squad, while seven were in the overseas group. The Girls squad has been trimmed from nine to seven for 2020.

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