Dorset’s Helen Durrant chased her golfing dream today to become England’s female handicap golfer of the year – and to keep alive her hopes of playing with a European Tour Star.
Helen won the women’s final of the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy at England Golf Week at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire.
Now, she and the next eight players go forward to play in the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire.
They’ll make up teams with the top nine players from the men’s Chase Your Dream final, which takes place tomorrow. The winning trio at Luton Hoo will book a place in the pro-am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, and will play with a leading European Tour player.
The players joining Helen at Luton Hoo include Hannah Golding, 15, who was one of last year’s overall winners and teed up at the British Masters alongside Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts – and met Sergio Garcia and Charley Hull.
The nine qualifiers (image copyright Leaderboard Photography) are:
Helen Durrant of Parkstone, Dorset
Keeley Clarke of Torquay, Devon
Di Clark of Bedale, Yorkshire
Hannah Golding of Brocton Hall, Staffordshire
Linda Ellen Carr of Dean Wood, Lancashire
Charlotte Topping of Mannings Heath, Sussex
Aimee Sawyer of Mendip, Somerset
Wendy Plummer of Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire
Penny Hartley of Shipley, Yorkshire
Helen, who took up golf just two years ago, topped the leaderboard with her net score of three-under par 70 on the Red course, playing off a handicap of 24.
“It really is an absolute dream,” she said. “I took up golf two years ago – my husband and son are both single figure handicappers – and I have been absolutely bitten by the bug. I love golf. I am obsessed by golf.
“It’s lovely to win things but to play well, to play on a national level and to actually do ok is fantastic, it really is a dream.”
She arrived at Frilford hoping to be among the top nine, but nerves got to her over the opening holes. “My front nine was terrible, awful, I was all over the place, but then I went on a par spree”
What changed? “I told myself I had no chance of getting in the top nine and I was just going to relax and have fun with my playing partners, who were lovely. I just relaxed and enjoyed my round and all of a sudden I birdied the 13th and I started parring everything.”
Helen was playing in the last group and her score broke a log jam at the top of the leaderboard where three players were tied on one-under.
The Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy is run by England Golf and all the finalists were all club winners who had come through a regional qualifier.
England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring the finals of team and individual championships.