Devon golfers Michelle Underwood and teenager Tara Welland are the 2016 winners of the national final of England Golf’s Australian Spoons competition.
The pair, from Fingle Glen Golf Club, came through club and regional rounds to reach the final of the stableford foursomes competition at Waterlooville Golf Club in Hampshire. There they took on the challenge of pairs from five other regions and triumphed.
For Michelle it was a winning return, for she reached the final once before just after achieving her first handicap. Since then she’s also won the English women’s Par 3 championship.
“I had always wanted to come back,” said Michelle, a 20-handicapper. “When I played in it for the first time we were really disappointed not to win and to be able to return and win is absolutely amazing.”
Tara – whose 16th birthday fell on the day of the South West regional final – was making her first appearance at this level and has been inspired to return home and work hard on her 19 handicap.
The Australian Spoons final is played alongside the last day of the English Women’s County Championship and Tara said: “Watching the girls playing here makes me want to get my handicap down.”
The runners-up were Lisa Hawkins and Sophie Tester of Sedlescombe Golf, Sussex, representing the South region. Third place on countback was taken by Megan Allen and Miyako Williams of Newark Golf Club, Nottinghamshire, representing Midlands North.
The other finalists were:
Alison Shanks and Kit Mee Lim of Mill Green Golf Club, Hertfordshire, representing the East region.
Sylvia Grainger and Patricia Kendall of Brampton Golf Club, Cumbria, representing the North region.
Susan Franklin and Barbara Kelsey of Wishaw Golf Club, Warwickshire, representing the Midlands South region.
The competition is contested with pairs with handicaps of 15 and over. The finalists were all the overnight guests of England Golf.
Caption: Tara Welland (left) and Michelle Underwood (image copyright Leaderboard Photogaphy).