12 Sep 18
Keely Chiericato, winner of the Titleist and Footjoy WPGA Championship, will spearhead the challenge of WPGA Members in the penultimate LET Access Series event of the season at Stoke by Nayland.
Chiericato, who is attached to Manston Golf Centre in Kent and also won the One Day Series, will be among 15 WPGA representatives in the 108-strong field tackling the Gainsborough course at the Suffolk resort.
She will be joined by four others who finished in the One Day Series top ten: runner up Sian Evans, Katie Rule, Jessica Heap and former Ladies European Tour player Suzanne Dickens.
Other WPGA Members taking part in the 54-hole event which carries a €35,000 prize fund include Eugenie Knight (above), who competed in the Birdietime PGA Assistants’ Championship and Golfbreaks PGA Fourball Championship, Nicola Bennett, Alice Hiluta and Sarah Smith.
The tournament is being staged at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa for the sixth successive year and will see Lydia Hall attempt to defend the title she won as a result of prevailing in a play-off against France’s Ines Escudier.
Hall, who won the WPGA One Day Series in 2016 and 17, has put her PGA training on hold to concentrate on her tournament career. Consequently a successful title defence is high on her list of priorities.
“Last year’s victory was a highlight of 2017 and I’d love for a repeat in 2018,” she said.
“I obviously enjoy playing the golf course and hopefully the win last year will give me an advantage over my fellow competitors this week. I’m aiming to defend my title so I’m going to be fairly aggressive to make as many birdies as possible.”
LETAS Order of Merit leader, Sweden’s Emma Nilsson also enjoys playing at the venue.
The 24-year-old, who is guaranteed one of the five Ladies European Tour cards on offer in the LETAS Series, said: This will be my fifth time playing the WPGA International Challenge.
“I really like the course and the greens are always in good condition. And we will stay at the hotel on the course, which is really nice. My results in the last two tournaments have been 10th and 11th, so I’m really looking forward to the week.”
All but one of the players in the top ten of the rankings is in the field. The only player missing is France’s Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, currently fourth on the LETAS Order of Merit, who will be competing in the final major of the year, the Evian Championship, by virtue of her Jabra Ladies Open win earlier this year.