Friendship wins as Michelle takes Par 3 title

2014 Par 3 Championship winner - Michelle Underwood

Devon’s Michelle Underwood scored a victory for golfing friendships when she won the 2014 English women’s Par 3 tournament at Ampfield in Hampshire.

"I’m over the moon,” said Michelle, who was joint runner-up in last year’s event.

She takes part in the event as part of a group of golfers who first met when they played in a Spanish golfing challenge organised by the former English Women’s Golf Association, now England Golf.

Firm friendships were made over the course of three outings to Spain and a group of about 20 women are still in touch, with a varying number making a date for the Par 3 tournament.

“It’s been good fun,” said Michelle, a 19-handicapper from Fingle Glen, as she reviewed the event which combines good competition with a hint of garden party atmosphere, thanks to the Pimm’s and cake enjoyed by the players.

She scored net 55, playing off half handicap, and the highlight was a birdie on the 17th where she hit her tee shot to within four feet of the pin and “holed out in front of the clubhouse!”  

Michelle took up golf in 2008 and in her first season she reached the national final of the Australian Spoons stableford foursomes competition, representing the South West with club colleague Ann Hazelwood. Ann, another member of the Spanish group, was also in the field at the Par 3.  Needless to say, both featured in the prizes during their Spanish outings.

The Par 3 team prize went to Hampshire’s Southwick Park Golf Club, represented by Terri Wing, Gloria Hutchings and Alicia Leonard.

Terri was the tournament runner-up on net 58, while Gloria was one stroke further back. She achieved the shot of the tournament when she had a hole-in one on the 98-yard 12th hole, where she used an eight iron. This was only the second time Gloria had played at Ampfield and, by a remarkable coincidence, she also aced the 12th on her previous outing.

“I started with an eight on the first hole and didn’t think it was going to be very enjoyable. But I ended up with quite a decent score and had a lovely day,” said Gloria, who has also had a hole-in one at her own course, on the par three sixth.
 
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