Essex golfers Linda Woods and Pauline Nash put the sparkle on their club’s 130th anniversary celebrations when they became PING women’s fourball betterball champions today.
The pair, from Royal Epping Forest, snatched victory on countback in the Grand Final after they scored 46 points at PING’s Gainsborough Golf Club.
The clincher was the 17th, where Pauline chipped in for a par five and Linda promptly followed her, chipping in for birdie four and four points. “We were quite ecstatic, it made the difference,” said Linda.
It took a lot to separate them from their title challengers, Donna Canning and Kathy Seal of Beedles Lake, Leicestershire. Both pairs had 25 points on the outward half and 21 on the inward; but over the last six holes, Linda and Pauline had an advantage of one point.
The tournament is run by England Golf and the winners came through an initial entry of over 15,000 women from more than 850 clubs. The top 50 pairs nationwide qualified for today’s Grand Final and the next 50 played in yesterday’s Plate Final.
“We are tickled pink,” said Linda, who is the Royal Epping Forest ladies’ captain for the third time. “We are the oldest club in Essex and it’s our 130th anniversary this year, which is great.
“We’ve got quite a small ladies’ section, with currently just 22 ladies playing, so we are absolutely delighted to be able to field a pair and win at national level. It is fantastic.”
Linda, who plays off 14, and Pauline, a 19-handicapper, play together regularly but they’ve never before won anything as a pair. “We supported each other well and we had a fantastic front nine, we parred eight holes on the front. We dropped off a bit on the back, when it was getting a bit tense, but we managed to hold it together.”
The victory was extra sweet for Pauline who is just getting back into golf after having both her hips replaced. “I’m really, really thrilled. It’s just such a wonderful day and we were happy with that – but to come in with a good score and win! We’re thrilled to bits.”
Third place went to Jane Leigh and Ruth Sinclair of Humberstone Heights, Leicestershire, who scored 45 points. The next three places were decided on countback after five pairs finished with 44 points: fourth were Susan Potter and Geraldine Morris of Northampton; fifth, Pam Heavyside and Jackie Taylor of Wexham Park, Buckinghamshire; and sixth, Rachael Warner and Bev Allan of Branston, Staffordshire.
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Caption: Pauline Nash (left) and Linda Woods of Royal Epping Forest Golf Club, the 2018 PING women’s fourball betterball champions (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography).