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Golf News: - Posted 26th May 1998

Kim Rostron defends her English Ladies title

Walton Heath, Surrey - Lancashire's Kim Rostron launches the defence of her English Ladies golf title at Walton Heath in Surrey this morning, as the chase for Curtis Cup places gathers momentum.

Great Britain and Ireland defend the famous amateurs' trophy in Minneapolis in August - and contenders for places need to perform well both in their national championships and in the British Ladies Open at Little Aston in Birmingham next month.

Rostron, from Clitheroe, who did well to capture the crown at Saunton a year ago, went off the boil as the season progressed but is hoping to recapture her form to make a significant impact in the weeks leading up to cup selection.

Kate Burton, the champion of two years ago is also in the line-up, but the one who could be particularly hard to beat is Cheshire's Elaine Ratcliffe, a member of the winning Curtis Cup side of 1996.

Ratcliffe, runner up in last August's European individual championship at Formby, is cautiously optimistic and said: "I am playing well at the moment and having had a practice round at Walton Heath feel pretty good."

Apart from the Curtis Cup, there are also three places to be had in the Great Britain and Ireland Espirito Santo side in Chile in November.