Warwickshire pair renew their winning ways
Warwickshire’s Claire Dowling and Tracy Atkin rekindled a successful partnership to score a runaway win in the England Golf Brenda King Foursomes at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire
The one-handicappers won the end-of-season senior women’s event by eight shots, with gross scores of 72, 77. It was a first outing for both in senior circles – and a postscript to their earlier golfing achievements.
Claire (nee Hourihane) is a former Curtis Cup player and an Irish and British champion, while Tracy (nee Hammond) was an England international who went on to turn professional, despite suffering from Crohn’s disease, and who returned to amateur ranks in the late 1990s.
The pair, who knew each other from their days on the international amateur circuit, met up again in Warwickshire, where Claire is a member at Copt Heath and Tracy at Leamington & County. They forged a successful foursomes partnership in the county team, losing only once before Claire decided to retire in 2005.
They’ve lost nothing of their winning ways. “We play well together because we’re always fairly relaxed,” said Claire. “We played really well in the first round but I was a bit off today. I didn’t hit the ball close enough to the pin and left Tracy some quite long putts on greens which were like lightning. But it’s been smashing and we’ve had great fun.”
The runners-up were Gillian Curley (Northamptonshire County) and Amanda Mayne (Saltford) 157 (78 79); followed by Annie Gowing and Kate Evans (Frilford Heath) 158 (77 81). Fourth place – and the first handicap prize - went to Judy McCairns (Oxford Ladies) and Angela Reeves (Frilford Heath) on 159 (76 83). The tournament was played on the Blue course then the Red.
Caption: Tracy Atkin (left) and Claire Dowling with the Brenda King Foursomes salvers.