Former European Tour and Solheim Cup Star Alison Nicholas MBE has marked her return to the game this year to win the Titleist & FootJoy Women’s PGA Professional Championship qualifying event at Little Aston Golf Club.
She has been battling health problems away from the course, but is building up for the US Seniors Tour later this year and won comfortably by three shots at the Birmingham venue. She will join six other qualifiers who will line up for the £5,000 grand final to be held at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club in Somerset on June 4-5.
Nicholas explained she needed to start playing again as soon as she has a view of traveling to the States.
“I’ve had a bad year, I wasn’t right,” said the Hagley Golf Club professional. I lost some weight and I needed to regain some fitness which I’ve now done. So I wanted to get back playing again as soon as I could this year. I’m aiming to play on the US Seniors Tour and that’s later on in the year so I hope that I’ll be ready for that by then.”
Nicholas could not resist playing at the Little Aston course which is close to her Midlands base. And she admitted the day almost went perfectly after carding a three-under-par round of 71.
“I bogeyed the 18th which I was a bit miffed about,” smiled Nicholas. "But other than that it went okay.”
She beat Katrina Holford, of Chase Golf Club, into second place while former champion Tracey Loveys, of Bigbury Golf Club, was third.
Pos. Score Name Represents
1 71 (-3) Alison Nicholas Hagley Golf Club
2 74 (Level) Katrina Holford Chase Golf Club
3 76 (+2) Tracy Loveys Bigbury Golf Club, Lucy Williams Mid Herts Golf Club
5 Katy Edwards Alice Springs Golf Club
6 Catherine Panton-Lewis Berkshire Golf Club, Anna Smith London Golf Club
Image of Alison Nicholas courtesy of Tony Marshall at Getty Images