Lancashire golfers Sheila Swindlehurst and Margaret Wild are celebrating the chance pairing that led to them winning the Plate Final of the PING women’s fourball betterball.
The scored 45 points at PING’s Gainsborough Golf Club to win by a point and Margaret summed up: “We are absolutely delighted, it’s just wonderful.”
The women, members of Lancaster Golf Club, had planned to play with other golfers in their club qualifier – but both their partners had to pull out. “So fate brought us together and we have a wonderful outcome!” said Margaret.
The tournament – which is run by England Golf – attracted entries from over 15,000 women from more than 850 clubs. The top 50 pairs nationwide qualified for tomorrow’s Grand Final and the next 50 played in today’s Plate Final.
“We both felt very happy that we had actually got to play here in the Plate Final and obviously this is just the icing on the cake,” added Margaret, who plays off 19.
She and Sheila, a 22-handicapper, both play regularly in competitions and represent their club. In fact they’re both on the tee tomorrow in a big competition at Lancaster! This is their first national win, but Sheila has previously played with a different partner in the final of the Coronation Foursomes for GB&I club golfers.
Today, they gelled well, with one coming in if the other went off. Crucially they birdied the 16th for four points, which proved a useful buffer when they could manage only one point on the par five 17th. However, they played steadily for two points on the last for their total of 45 – and then began the long wait to see if it could be bettered.
Their nerves were tested by last group to start from the 1st tee – but Sandra Cadore and Paulette Rodney of South Beds fell just short with their 44 points. They also had a late birdie for four points – on the 17th – but could only squeeze one point out of the 18th.
Third place on countback went to Eileen McCrea and Maxine Dickson of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who had 43 points, pipping Beverley Scholes and Jane Antrobus of Rochdale, Lancashire. Fifth place, also on countback, went to Alison Pitkethly and Irene Milburn of Beeston Fields, Nottinghamshire, on 42 points, ahead of Pat Poole and Eva Lambert of Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
Caption: Margaret Wild (left) and Sheila Swindlehurst of Lancaster Golf Club, with the PING Plate trophy. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography).