Here's a round-up of this year's Rose Ladies Series, with five events across two weeks this April

Back for its fifth year, the Rose Ladies Series was set to get underway, like it did last year, at West Lancashire Golf Club on Monday April 15. There were 52 players in the field, including LET player turned commentator Sophie Walker who was making a return to compete in a professional golf competition.

However, as with a lot of competitions this winter and spring, the weather had other ideas and with winds hitting over 65mph, the event had to be cancelled before a ball had even been hit.

It was such a shame that this year's series had to start in this way, especially at a venue like West Lancs which has been a long-time supporter and fantastic host of Rose Ladies Series events over the years.

Formby Ladies Golf Club

FORMBY, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Billy-Jo Smith poses with the trophy during The Rose Ladies Series at the Forby Ladies Golf Club on April 17, 2024 in Formby, England. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)
Billie-Jo Smith - Rose Ladies Series - Formby Ladies (Image credit: Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Luckily for players, the week was based in the north-west of England, so on Wednesday April 17, with the weather improved, 53 players teed it up at Formby Ladies Golf Club. The first time the club has hosted the Rose Ladies Series.

One of the earlier starters, LET player Becky Morgan set the clubhouse target at one-under-par, with a neat scorecard that consisted of two birdies and one bogey. But it was the 12:10pm tee time that really stole the show, the LET trio of Amy Boulden, Billie-Jo Smith and Chloe Williams seemed to inspire each other.

Early birdies from Boulden and Smith meant that they were tied at two-under-par after three holes. By the seventh tee, Smith had pulled a shot clear at three-under, as Boulden had dropped a shot at five to get to one-under whilst Williams had birdied five and six to get to two-under.

At the turn, Smith remained at three-under and Boulden had clawed one back after a birdie on the 8th. Unfortunately, the 8th hole had proved costly for Williams as she carded a double bogey and then a further bogey followed on nine to drop her back to one-over-par.

By the 14th hole, Smith and Boulden were both at three-under-par at the top of the leaderboard. Another birdie on 14 gave Smith the edge and a bogey birdie finish in the last three holes for Boulden meant that she had to settle for second place. Williams rallied on the back nine and claimed third at two-under-par.

This was Billie-Jo Smith's first Rose Ladies Series victory, afterwards she said:

"Thanks to the Rose Series for giving us these opportunities to play at the start of our season at great golf courses like this one. And to Justin and Kate for continuing to support female golf"

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club

Cara Gainer Rose Ladies Series Southport & Ainsdale
Cara Gainer - Southport & Ainsdale - Rose Ladies Series - (Image credit: Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Two days later, a field of 48 players took to Southport & Ainsdale for the second year in a row. Tough conditions on Friday meant that going low was going to be difficult.

Setting the pace was Rachel Bailey, who went out in the fourth group of the day and shot a round of four-over-par (76). She was joined by Fromby Ladies winner Billie-Jo Smith two groups later, who after having a double bogey on the second hole and two further bogeys on four and five, added three birdies and three bogeys to also finish on four-under-par.

It was over an hour before there was a change of the clubhouse leader. Bel Wardle, who was even par after 13 holes, bogeyed three of her final five holes for a three-over-par 75. Wardle was then joined by Sara Gee, who with a final bogey on 15, also signed for a 75.

In the end, the battle came down to the final two groups. Chloe Williams, winner of the 2021 RLS event at Bearwood Lakes, who was playing in the penultimate group had a fantastic eagle on seven to cancel out bogeys on the two previous holes. The Welsh player was even par on the tee at 15 but a bogey there and one of the final hole meant she held the clubhouse lead at two-over-par.

All eyes then moved to the final group where Ellie Gower had come back from four bogeys in her first four holes to be one-over-par and in the lead heading into the final hole. Whilst Cara Gainer had had five straight pars, from 13 to 17, and was one shot further back at two-over-par. The 18th at Southport & Ainsdale was a 342 yard par 4, with a finish right in front of the clubhouse.

The one round shoot out that the Rose Ladies Series is known for, came down to the wire with both accomplished English players going for the win, but it was Gainer who just pipped Gower to the top spot with a birdie on the last whilst Gower dropped a shot back.

Like Smith, this was Gainer's first Rose Ladies Series victory. The LET player had made the decision not to travel to South Africa to take part in the SA swing, something that definitely paid off as she collected her £10,000 cheque.

"So amazing that the Rose Series keeps getting supported, I chose not to play a tour event this year to play up here, so thank you to Justin and Kate for their ongoing support."

EDGA at Southport & Ainsdale

Aimi Bullock Southport and Ainsdale

Alongside the main event, four players from EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association) competed to take home their own slice of Rose Ladies Series history. The not-for-profit body has a focus on the importance of making golf a viable sporting option for more women as it seeks to encourage 500,000 new people with a disability to join the game. 

The victory went to Aimi Bullock, Director of Women's Golf at EDGA, who put on an impressive display in tough conditions to score 37 Stableford points.

Sunningdale Golf Club

Emily Toy Rose Ladies Series Sunningdale
Emily Toy - Sunningdale - Rose Ladies Series - (Image credit: Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Due to logistics and other website commitments, Women & Golf were only able to be on the ground at one of the Rose Ladies Series events this year. As well as coming to watch the golf, we also hosted our competition winner Liz and her three friends from Woburn Golf Club.

This was the second time that Sunningdale had hosted the Rose Ladies Series but this time the players were taking on the Old Course.

Dame Laura Davies got play underway, with 60 players in the field. The golfing legend was playing alongside Hayley Davis, who had already won twice on the RLS at Brokenhurst Manor and Bearwood Lakes in 2022.

Emily Toy, who was in the fifth group out, made the turn at one-under-par. An eagle at the 452 yard par 5 10th hole, saw her leap to the top of the leaderboard. Another birdie followed on 12 but was cancelled out by a bogey on 17. The English player claimed the clubhouse lead at three-under-par and then had a long wait as the 16 groups behind had to complete their rounds.

Amateur Annabel Peaford made a strong start and was three-under through five holes. A double on the par 4 sixth would end up derailing her charge and with another four bogeys, she finished in a tie for 18th at four-over-par.

A couple of groups behind Annabel Peaford, Southport & Ainsdale contender Ellie Gower was also putting together a good round. She was two-under heading down the final hole in search of a birdie to tie the lead, unfortunately, it was a bogey instead and a finish in a tie for third place.

Lauren Horsford, who won at West Lancs in 2022, made a birdie on 16 to get to one-under. Two pars would follow so she also tied for third place.

Our Women & Golf competition winners were fully behind Woburn's Megan Dennis, who was three groups behind Horsford. The support obviously spurred her on as she was four-under through 10 holes. A couple of bogeys then followed on 12 and 13. Having only turned professional after LET Q-School in Decemember, Megan is relatively new to the professional scene. A birdie on 14 tied her with Toy and three pars followed. The difficult finishing par 4 could only provide disappointment for the 24-year-old and her supporters as a double bogey dropped her to tied third with Horsford and Gower.

Disappointment had also occured in the group ahead of Dennis. Cara Gainer, fresh from her victory on the previous Friday at Southport & Ainsdale, had put together a very good round, which included an eagle on the 265 yard par 4 ninth hole to get to three-under. She added another birdie at 10, with a bogey at 12 and further birdie at 14 to be four-under with four holes to play. The 28-year-old couldn't keep up momentum and a bogey on 16, saw her tie with Toy and a further bogey on 18 gave the Cornish golfer the victory.

"We've all really enjoyed the Rose Ladies Series, thank you to Justin and Kate for continuing to support the series and maintaining the platform to play."

Rose Ladies Series Sunningdale W&G Competition winners with Hayley Davis
Women & Golf Competition winners with Emma Ballard from W&G and Professional golf Hayley Davis

A special thanks must go to the Rose Ladies Series organisers who put together a fantastic competition package for our Women & Golf reader. As well as enjoying the golf, we were treated to a delicious three course lunch and a Q&A with LET star Hayley Davis.

Walton Heath Golf Club

Hayley Davis Rose Ladies Series Walton Heath
Hayley Davis - Walton Heath - Rose Ladies Series - (Image credit: Luke Walker/Getty Images)

We're not sure there is much to write about Walton Heath as two time Rose Ladies Series winner Hayley Davis dominated the event from early on Wednesday 24 April. She was clearly spurred on from meeting me and the competition winners at Sunningdale! 😉

With 57 players in the field, Davis was out in the fourth group at 9am on the New Course. The front nine was a birdie fest with ones carded on two, four, five, six and eight to make the turn in 30 shots and five-under-par. The Dorset golfer was seven-under after 13 holes after adding two more birdies at 11 and 13. She completed her bogey-free round with one more birdie on 17 to shoot an eight-under-par 64.

Thalia Kirby, who was in the fourth to last group, was four-under through eight holes and looked to challenge her fellow English golfer. The only blemish on her card came on nine and even though she did find a couple more birdies, five-under was still three shots behind.

Another player of note was Sunningdale winner Emily Toy who finished on her own in third at four-under-par.

Hayley Davis added a third Rose Ladies Series title to her CV just before heading out to Korea for the next Aramco Team Series event on the Ladies European Tour, an event where she thrives in the team atmosphere.

"Thanks to Justin and Kate for continuing to put on this series, I speak for all of the girls when I say there is real excitement when it's announced every year and the girls are always looking forward to playing in the events."

And just like that, the Rose Ladies Series comes to an end for the fifth year! Whilst speculation starts as to whether it will return in 2025, the team behind it move their efforts towards the Rose Ladies Open which will take place on the LET Access Series from September 6-8 at Brocket Hall.

View all 2024 Rose Ladies Series results here.