Runaway senior victory for Sue Dye

Sue Dye senior strokeplay champion 2013

Cheshire’s Sue Dye scored a runaway win in the English senior women’s stroke play championship at Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight, finishing seven shots clear of her closest rival.

She was level par for the 54-hole tournament and said afterwards: “I won this in 2007, but I’ve also been runner-up four times, so it’s rather nice to hold it together and lovely to win again.”

Sue, from Delamere Forest, (image © Leaderboard Photography) set out on the final round with a five-shot lead – and was taking nothing for granted.  “It may be a big lead but it’s never sufficient!” she said.

“I knew I had to make pars and plot my way round the course. It’s all between the ears and I played my way round without getting phased when I did silly things.”

In fact, she extended her lead over the final round, adding a closing 74 to her two earlier rounds of one-under 71. British senior champion Katherine Russell was her closest rival at the start of the day and, although she birdied two of the first three holes, her challenge fell away and she finished joint sixth.

Elsewhere, though, a scoring blitz did materialise. It came from too far back to threaten Sue’s lead but, it made for a great battle for second place. Former champion Chris Quinn prevailed with a two-under par 70, pipping her playing companion Caroline Berry. However, Caroline’s  closing 69 was not only the low score of the championship but also the lowest round ever by a lady at Shanklin and Sandown.

Chris Quinn, from Hockley in Hampshire, was lying 10th after the second round and was “feeling despondent. Everything I tried had gone wrong – so today I decided to go out and attack the course and I started birdie, par, birdie, birdie.

“It was nice to pull myself up to second, I’m very pleased with that.”

Caroline Berry, from Bromborough in Cheshire, set out today with the aim of pushing herself up the senior order of merit and improving her chances of a place in the Home Internationals team. “I just had two swing thoughts, one was to commit to the shot and the other was to focus on a spot behind the hole when putting.

“I was very, very chuffed,” she remarked after a round which included five birdies.

She was also pleased to have her husband on the bag. Bromborough professional Geoff Berry took an unexpected walk down memory lane when he went in the Shanklin and Sandown pro shop and found fellow PGA professional Peter Hammond – with whom he’d been in an England boys’ team in 1979. A photograph of the team hangs on the pro shop wall.

Somerset’s Amanada Mayne took fourth place, on countback from Caroline, after she returned a final round 74. It equalled her position in this event last year.

The county team trophy was won, for the second year in a row, by Cheshire, represented by Sue Dye and Gillian Mellor (Prestbury). Gillian, who was tied sixth overall, did well to finish after hurting her back on the 9th and had to resort to an ice pack after play. The trophy for the best player aged over 65 was won, again back-to-back, by Gill Snelson of Wellingborough, who was 14th overall.

Leading final scores:
Par 72 CSS 72 72 72
216 Sue Dye Delamere Forest (Delamere Forest) 71 71 74
223 Chris Quinn (Hockley)74 79 70
225 Caroline Berry (Bromborough) 78 78     69, Amanda Mayne (Saltford) 74 77 74
227 Felicity Christine (Woking) 72 79 76
228 Gillian Mellor (Prestbury), 78 74 76; Janet Melville (Sherwood Forest) 75 77 76; Judy Butler (Malton & Norton) 73 79 76; Debbie Richards (Burhill) 70 81 77; Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest) 72 75 81