One of the top Welsh amateur golfers is looking forward to teeing it up with some of the best women players in the UK at the Rose Ladies Series event in Kent this week.
Wales international Harriet Lockley, aged 15, will be playing in her first pro event and mixing with the likes of 2018 Ladies British Open champion Georgia Hall and fellow Solheim Cup player Charlie Hull
It will also be making history as the first ladies professional event to be held at Open Championship venue Royal St George’s on the Kent coast.
The Rose Ladies Series has been set up by former US Open champion Justin Rose and his wife Kate to provide professional competition for the ladies while events round the world have been cancelled because of coronavirus.
Welsh professionals Amy Boulden, Chloe Williams and Hannah Bowen will be in action. Wales international Ellen Nicholas will also be playing in the event, the fourth of eight scheduled in the Rose Ladies Series.
Lockley played in the Wales team at the European Girls Team Championships last year, won the Welsh Girls Stroke Play in 2018 and runner-up in the Welsh Girls Championship last year.
“I can’t wait for it to start, I am so excited,” said Lockley. “It is amazing to think that my first competition of the year will also be the biggest of my life
“I sent off an email to the organisers asking if it was possible to be involved and I am delighted to have got in.
“It will be great to see what the top players do. These are people I see on TV and I cannot wait to see them close up.”
Millfield schoolgirl Lockley will be taking her GCSE’s next year, but has found the last few months strange as she has combined remote learning with practising golf in any way she can.
She has also been keeping in touch with Wales Golf elite coach Paul Williams and her Wales squad colleagues through Zoom.
“Schoolwork has been OK having online lessons and I was able to practice my golf in the garden at the start of lockdown,” she explained.
“I was so excited when the golf courses opened again and I have been able to play in a few club competitions which has been good.
“I have had a few Zoom sessions with my coach Gareth James and we have also had plenty of Wales squad sessions online over the last four months.
“It has been good to catch up with everyone, to see what they are doing on Zoom.
“After being selected for the European Girls and Home Internationals last year, I was really looking forward to this season. After this I am hoping to be able to play in a few 36 hole events and the British Ladies Amateur Championship.
“It is obviously nowhere near as much as I would have been playing but better than it looked at one point.”
Lockley will be teeing off in the event on Thursday, July 9, with an exciting few days ahead of her.