Weather fails to put the dampers on Jelina

jelina fernando with the county president
jelina fernando with the county president

Talented young golfer Jelina Fernando birdied the final hole at Chartham Park to retain her Sussex Girls Championship title by three shots.

Wet conditions led to the East Grinstead course flooding in places and meant the championship was reduced from 36 holes to 27.

But nothing could dampen the spirits of the 16-year-old Pyecombe member as she was helped on her way by a superb six over par round in the morning.

There were 18 golfers from across the county taking part and Jelina is pictured receiving the trophy from county president Margaret Grover

Lizzie Price, aged 14 of Nevill GC, won the Under 15 scratch competition. With a handicap of just 8, Lizzie no doubt is a rising Sussex star.

Lily Margaroli of Worthing GC, playing off 26, won the handicap competition with some great golf but it came at a price as she suffered a significant handicap cut.

Three days later it was the ladies full Sussex Championships at the Dyke.

In a thrilling weekend of quality golf, 46 of the county’s top players competed fiercely over three days.

The scoring reflected the very challenging and windy conditions on Friday morning, with only five players scoring under 80. But improving conditions as the day went on saw 11 players shooting under 80 in the afternoon.

The prize winners in the 36-hole strokeplay competition were Chelsea Masters (Highwoods) who won the Stobart Cup for best scratch score (77+72), and Nikki Purton (Mannings Heath) who lifted the Grant-White Cup for best handicap score (net 71+72)

Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest) retained the Langridge Salver for the third year running for best scratch score aged 50+ (82+77)

The Championship was then contested over Saturday and Sunday with the top 16 players going through to the Sunday.

Pyecombe’s Aileen Greenfield missed out in the semi final to eventual winner Karen Sykes from Worthing. It was Sykes’ fifth final in 13 years and produced a victory over Emma Carberry of Highwoods. Carberry had beaten clubmate Chelsea Masters in the semis.

Greenfield had the consolation of making the county team to play in County Match Week at the end of the month.

There were plenty of spectators enjoying the golf and long awaited summer sunshine for the Championship and Plate finals on Sunday afternoon. Carberry’s ball striking was phenomenal, with awesome length off the tee, but Sykes’ short game was on fire as she birdied four of the last seven holes to win 2&1. Her bunker shot on the 17th left her a tap in for par.

The Plate Final was another hard fought battle between Lizzie Price, aged just 14, of Nevill GC and Alice McCutchan of West Sussex, who has recently moved back to the area after university. The younger player clinched victory 2&1, showing great coolness under pressure.