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Sunday, October 25, 2009

England send strong four to Spirit

International at Houston, Texas

Internationals Holly Clyburn and Rachel Jennings, together with Matt Haines and Stiggy Hodgson, will represent the English Women’s Golf Association and the English Golf Union respectively in the Spirit International Amateur Championship being staged from November 4 to 7 at Houston, Texas.
The biennial event takes place at the Whispering Pines Golf Club, north of Houston, and attracts leading players, both boys and girls, from many overseas nations.
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire), 18, is the English girls' champion, the French Under-18 open champion and the British colleges' open champion. She was also a member of the winning England team in the girls' home internationals and along with Rachel Jennings played in the Ladies' Home Internationals at Irvine where England finished runners-up to Wales.
Rachel Jennings (Izaak Walton, Staffordshire), 21, represented England in last year’s women’s world amateur team championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy, having also won the French Lady Junior Championship.
In 2009, she was a member of the GB&I team against the Continent of Europe in the Vagliano Trophy and qualified for the Ricoh British Women’s Open at Royal Lytham.
Both Holly and Rachel were members of the England team that won the silver medal in the 2009 European Ladies' Team Championship in Slovenia and both have been included in the 2010 Curtis Cup squad.
Matt Haines (Rochester & Cobham, Kent), 20, was capped at boys level and has been an England international for the past three years after making his debut in the 2007 European men’s team championship in Denmark.
In that time he has won the McEvoy, Carris and Lytham Trophies, while this year his successes have included winning the Berkhamsted Trophy, the Hampshire Hog and Salver and a shared victory in the Duncan Putter.
He has also finished runner-up in the St Andrews Links Trophy and the Welsh open stroke play and reached the quarter-finals of the Spanish and English amateur championships.
Stiggy Hodgson (Sunningdale, Surrey), 19, like Haines, played in last month’s Walker Cup, having made his full England debut as part of the victorious home internationals team. A former boy international, Hodgson’s victories have included the McEvoy and Carris Trophies and the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, all in 2008.
This year, he has won the Sunningdale Foursomes, was joint winner of the Henriques Salver at the Brabazon Trophy, finished runner-up in the Junior Orange Bowl in the United States and in the South of England Stroke Play, third in the Tillman Trophy and was a semi-finalist in the Amateur Championship and a quarter-finalist in the English Amateur.England has a superb record in recent Spirit Internationals.
In 2005, Sophie Walker and Felicity Johnson won the gold medal in the women’s event at Houston and, with Oliver Fisher and Jamie Moul, took the international team gold.
Two years ago, the England quartet of Gary Boyd, Danny Willett, Liz Bennett and Naomi Edwards came out on top to take the gold medals.
The field contains the best 24 international teams who qualified through their final positions in the Eisenhower and Espirito Santo Trophies. Each team comprises two men and two women and is played on a four ball, better ball format over 72 holes.
Lyndsey Hewison
Press & PR Officer

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