Yorkshire Ladies: 2022 County Championship

NINE YEARS LATER: Yorkshire champion Emma Brown is presented wth the trophy by Yorkshire Ladies captain Alison Tracey

Three-time Curtis Cup player Emma Brown proves fab at 50 as she claims fourth White Rose title at Alwoodley

YORKSHIRE: Tuesday, May 10th

FORMAT: 36-hole stroke play qualifier and 4 rounds of matchplay

Thirty years after reaching her first Yorkshire Ladies County Championship final, former Curtis Cup star Emma Brown rolled back the years to win the coveted title at Alwoodley on Sunday.

The Malton & Norton stalwart got her hands on the trophy for the fourth time thanks to a 4&3 success over Lindrick’s Mia Eales-Smith. Her previous wins in the competition came in 2000, 2002 and 2013.

Brown, who represented GB&I in 2000, 2002 and 2004, had lost in the Yorkshire final 11 times previously and had the words of her mum ringing in her ears ahead of Sunday’s final with the South Yorkshire teenager.

“My mum spoke to me on the phone and said ‘just don’t lose this one’,” said Brown, who won the British Amateur in 1994. Her last appearance in the Yorkshire final came in 2018 when she lost out to Pannal’s Olivia Jackson.

However this time there would be no falling at the final hurdle as she got up early and was never headed. The 50-year-old, who last month also won the Yorkshire Vets final at the first time of asking, birdied three, four and five to get two up.

ELITE-LEVEL PLAYER: Emma Brown, then Emma Duggleby, representing GB&I in the Curtis Cup

Eales-Smith halved the deficit at the seventh thanks to a birdie but slip-ups from the 19-year-old at 11 and 13 meant she was three down with five to play.

And Brown, who works as assistant secretary at Ganton, closed things out in some style at 15, holing a big-breaking downhiller from 20 feet for birdie.

“I have played a bit more golf recently an obviously won the Yorkshire Vets the week before,” she added.

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW AMY STAVELEY BROKE ALWOODLEY COURSE RECORD

“It was a really strong field and I was just hoping to make the cut and then maybe make it through to the last eight so this is a realy joy.”

The eventual champion qualified for the knockout stages in seventh, four behind leader Megan Wileman (Selby), the three-time former champion who shot a five-under-par 68 to finish three ahead of Amy Staveley (Ganton) and Huddersfield’s Aaliyah Hryniewiecka-Irwin.

Staveley recorded the lowest round of the week and a new course record. Her 67 included nine 3s and she blitzed the front nine having started birdie-birdie-eagle-par-birdie. 

Qualifying scores (par 73)
1) Megan Wileman (Selby) 75, 68, 143 (-3)
2) Amy Staveley (Ganton) 79, 67, 146 (Level)
3) Aaliyah Hryniewiecka-Irwin (Huddersfield) 77, 69, 146 (Level)
4) Abigail Taylor (Headingley) 72, 74, 146 (Level)
5) Cath Lake (Fulford) 75, 72, 147 (+1)
6) Annabel Bailey (Sand Moor) 75, 72, 147 (+1)
7) Emma Brown (Malton & Norton) 74, 73, 147 (+1)
8) Molly Lumley (Woodsome Hall) 75, 73, 148 (+2)
9) Zara Ali (Cookridge Hall) 71, 77, 148 (+2)
10) Beth Norton (The Oaks) 75, 74, 149 (+3)
11) Katie Stephens (Middlesbrough) 77, 75, 152 (+6)
12) Hannah Holden (Huddersfield) 79, 74, 153 (+7)
13) Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick) 77, 76, 153 (+7)
14) Rachel Taylor (Huddersfield) 76, 77, 153 (+7)
15) Alexandra Bonfield (Fulford) 74, 79, 153 (+7)
16) Sara Gilmore (Ganton) 74, 81, 155 (+9)
For full scores click here
Match play scores – round one
• Wileman lost to Gilmore 24th 
• Lumley beat Ali 3&1
• Taylor lost to Eales-Smith 1 hole
• Lake beat Holden 6&5
• Staveley beat Bonfield 2&1
• Brown beat Norton 2&1
• Hryniewiecka-Irwin beat Taylor 4&3
• Bailey beat Stephen 1 hole
Quarter-Finals
• Gilmore beat Lumley 1 hole
• Eales-Smith beat Lake 1 hole
• Staveley lost to Brown 1 hole
• Hryniewiecka-Irwin beat Bailey 1 hole
Semi-finals
• Gilmore lost to Eales-Smith 7&6
• Brown beat Hryniewiecka-Irwin 4&3
Final
• Eales-Smith lost to Brown 4&3