Home win! Janet Melville has won the English senior women’s championship on her own course, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
She beat defending champion Chris Quinn 2/1, sealing the victory with two great putts on the 16th and 17th. Her win was watched by a crowd of club members who rushed to congratulate her and she said: “It’s absolutely amazing to win on my home course.
“Everyone has been so supportive during the week and I’m pleased to do it both for myself and for the club.”
But it’s not all plain sailing on home ground: “There’s been a tremendous amount of pressure playing at home, because you want to do well and it’s very difficult when it’s your home course,” said Janet.
She struggled during the stroke play qualifying but she settled as the match play went on – although today’s matches were a thorough test of her determination.
In the semi-finals she met Cath Rawthore of Cheshire. There was never more than one hole between the players and they went to the 20th before the clash was decided in Janet’s favour.
The final was another tough and close tussle between two senior internationals. Seven of the first nine holes were halved and the players were all square at the turn. Chris Quinn went ahead when she won the 10th with a par three but Janet won the 12th, 13th and 14th to get to 2up. She lost the short 15th, where she was bunkered off the tee, but came straight back with a fine putt for a winning birdie on the 16th.
On the 17th, needing just a half for the win, Janet bunkered her approach while Chris found the green safely in two. However, she splashed out to within 10ft and rammed home the putt for the half – and the championship title.
Janet’s longstanding coach is Mike Bradley of Hollinwell, but she’s also saying “thank you” to new Sherwood Forest professional Stuart Betteridge. “He’s only been here three weeks and I just thought it would be worth having a talk about putting to get some new ideas and it did help.”
Janet’s success means she now holds both English senior titles, adding this championship to the stroke play title which she won for the second time last summer.
Now, she’d like to add the British senior championship to her collection – she already has three British women’s titles in her personal record: the matchplay, the stroke play and the open.
The second flight was won by Debbie Richards of Surrey, who didn’t lose a hole on her way to a 6/5 victory over British senior champion Katherine Russell. Debbie previously won this title in 2010, but this was special because: “It’s my son Jamie’s 21st birthday today – so this is his present!”
Chris Quinn (Hockley) beat Karen Lobb (Northamptonshire County) 3/2
Janet Melville (Sherwood Forest) beat Cath Rawthore (Sale) at 20th
Melville beat Quinn 2/1
Second Flight: Semi-finals
Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest) beat Denise Goodacre (Lambourne) 1 up
Debbie Richards (Burhill) beat Jeannie O’Keeffe at 19th
Richards beat Russell 6/5