THREE former champions will be vying to put their name on the Cornwall County Ladies' Championship trophy again when they line up in a 64-strong field at Tehidy Park this week.
West Cornwall's Judith Ryder is a six time former winner, while Perranporth's Jan Sargeant has won the title three times before. But also hoping to win her second title will be home club favourite Rachael Lloyd-Phillips.
Three juniors – Victoria Pawley (Merlin), Eugenie Knight and Emily Toy (both Carlyon Bay) – have also entered the event and eight clubs have signed up for the prestigious Western Morning News trophy for the four best gross scores over the 36 holes of qualifying.
Current title holder Sarah-Jane Boyd, of Truro, who won the British Ladies' Amateur Strokeplay title last August and who is now firmly established in the England team set-up, is unable to defend her title due to her commitments with the national squad.
The championship, which is being played over the weekend for the first time, gets under way tomorrow with the 36-hole strokeplay qualifying stage.
The top 16 players will then go through to the matchplay stages, which start tomorrow and culminate in Sunday's 36-hole final.
Cornwall's men's team will be hoping to bounce back from their 9-6 defeat by Devon in their opening Channel League fixture of the season earlier this month when they take on current English county champions Wiltshire at West Cornwall on Sunday.
The team shows two changes from the Devon match, Tom Fox (China Fleet) and Chris Johnston (Perranporth) coming in for Matt Lock (Newquay) and Richard Ackland (Trevose).
Cornwall team: Joe Cruse, Chris Fleming, Tom Fox, Josh Greenaway, Harry Hall, Jon Hancock, Richard Jasper, Chris Johnston, Matt Richards and Joe Yorke.
Cornwall's juniors had to settle for the wooden spoon in both the strokeplay and matchplay sections of the annual South West Four Counties Championship at Knighton Heath in Dorset last week.
But despite the disappointing team results there were some fine individual performances by the Cornish youngsters, notably by West Cornwall's Harry Hall with a gross one over standard scratch score of 71 for joint third place.
Next best was Mullion's Josh Chaplin with 75 for a share of 11th place.
Cornwall's individual scores: Harry Hall 71; Josh Chaplin 75; Niall Hutton 76; Kieran Faulkner 77; Jack Screech 77; Adam Curtis 79; Rory Guy 79; Connor Jenkins 81.
Eighteen players will line up in the main competition at the Cornwall Under-14 Championship at Truro on Sunday.
Among the favourites to succeed last year's winner Jared Mortimore, of Truro, are Mullion's Connor Davidson, Falmouth's Tom Lentern and George Leigh, of Trevose.
A further 17 boys will also be competing in the Academy section of the championship for boys with handicaps of 28 and over.
Three Ryder Cup veterans, Peter Baker, Paul Broadhurst and Steven Richardson, will lead a strong field in the PGA Cornish Riviera Festival at Trevose, St Enodoc and Newquay this week.
The annual event, offering £17,445 prize money, has attracted a total of 456 players, 114 professionals and 342 amateurs, to start the competitive season in the Duchy. It is the largest Pro-Am festival in Britain.
The festival got under way yesterday and finishes with prizegiving at Trevose on Thursday. Full report in next week's column.
Two Cornish professionals have won automatic entry into all tournaments on this season's PGA Europro Tour schedule after finishing in the top 30 at the Qualifying School at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire last week.
Adam Frayne (St Mellion) and Richard Sadler (Killiow) both returned 54-hole totals of 211 for a share of 28th place. Frayne opened with a 73 before carding back to back 69s, while Sadler shots two rounds of 70 either side of a 71.
Three other Cornish pros made the cut and qualified for entry to selected Europro events. St Enodoc's Antony Nash finished on 213 (69-70-74), while Launceston's Adam Goudge was a shot further back on 214 (73-71-70), with Truro's Billy Downing carding 218 (70-75-73).
British Ladies' Amateur Strokeplay champion Sarah Jane Boyd, of Truro, finished in 13th place in the prestigious Hampshire Rose event played over 36 holes at North Hants GC on Saturday.
The 21-year-old England international shot a level par opening round of 73 before following up with a 77 for a total of 150.
Joel Cant, aged 38, has returned to his Lincolnshire roots after almost six years as head professional at Newquay.
He and his family come from Grantham and he has been appointed head professional at Market Rasen GC.
Newquay have been holding interviews for the vacancy and the new pro is expected to be appointed later this week.
Another pro leaving his position at the end of this month is Truro's long serving Nigel Bicknell, who is retiring after almost 40 years at the club during which time he has coached many top young players who have gone on to win international honours, such as Rhys and Ben Enoch and Sarah-Jane Boyd.
A farewell Am-Am tournament is being played at the club in his honour on Saturday.
Bicknell will be succeeded by Scott Richards, currently teaching professional at Carlyon Bay and former head pro at Cape Cornwall.