Jane Southcombe admitted you could have knocked her down with a feather after a win against top seed Tracey Williamson propelled her into the semi-finals of the English Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
Through eight holes, the quarter-final match appeared to be going according to the rankings.
Williamson, the reigning Senior Women’s Stroke Play champion, was up by two holes and carrying on her form of the week.
But a win for Southcombe at the ninth and 13th holes took the match to all square.
A birdie three at 17 edged Southcombe, a member at Broadstone Golf Club, into the lead. A par three at the 18th hole closed out the match.
As she came to terms with the victory, Southcombe said: “I’m delighted. You could knock me down with a feather.
“I didn’t expect to beat her and that’s the beauty of the game and the beauty of match play.
“I’m proud of myself and all the bits of practice through COVID have worked. I’m chuffed.
“A lot of what I’ve been working on is actually believing in me and it IS getting better.
“There’s still bit to improve on, but then I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and do what all the pros say – which everyone gets sick and tired of – stay in your little bubble and keep doing what you are doing.
“One shot, one hole, one shot, one hole.
“Stay in the bubble, stick to the process and believe in what I do.”
In Friday’s semi-final, Southcombe will go head-to-head with Jackie Foster who progressed to the last four with a 6&5 win over Sally Shayler followed by a 2&1 win against Sue Spencer.
The Bishop’s Stortford golfer is no stranger to the closing stages of these events, but is now looking to raise her game a notch in keeping with the level of competition.
After a tiring, but pleasing day, Foster said: “I’m very happy to be in the semi-final. I played a little bit better today than earlier in the week.
“It’s tough because when you get to this stage everyone is good. You have to try and stay in the moment.
“I was in some incredible places but managed to get myself out of trouble.
“I’ve not played Jane in match play before but she’s playing well.”
The sun broke through the thick cloud by the afternoon to show off Market Rasen at its best.
And some of the golf on show was just as brilliant as the sunshine.
Clarissa Bushell, in particular, enjoyed a day on the course that left her beaming with satisfaction at a job well done.
A 5&4 win for the West Sussex golfer (pictured above) in the last 16 against Linda Hunt teed up the quarter-final match against Karen Jobling.
At one stage in the round, Bushell was four up on her Yorkshire opponent, but needed to show real resolve to par the last and claim a one-hole victory.
That sets up a semi-final meeting with Fiona Edmond – a good friend and now an opponent for the first time ever in match play.
Bushell said: “Fiona’s a very good friend. My husband is godfather to one of her children and we’ve been on golf holidays together.
“It’ll be interesting as we’ve never played match play against each other.
“The best thing for me today was just playing the card. My mind tends to flit around and I think about different things and start looking at people!
“I didn’t get nervous and at one point I thought to myself ‘I absolutely love this, I really fancy this shot’. I just felt good.”
Edmond has been here before, of course. The 2017 champion knows how to get the job done and has been relatively untroubled all week.
Her last 16 match was tight – a 2&1 win over Sharon Eales. That was followed by a 4&2 victory over the 2015 champion, Helen Lowe.
Now comes the semi-final against a friend with the atmosphere set to be both convivial and competitive.
“I’ve played with Clarissa a lot,” she admitted.
“It’ll be enjoyable, but you have to play your own game. I’ve not played a close friend many times, but you have to treat it like any other match.”
The first semi-final tees off on Friday at 8am followed by the second one 15 minutes later.
The final is due to tee off at 12.45pm.
The final of the Ann Howard Trophy for the over 60s will be contested by Sheree Dove-Wilde form Camberley Heath and Wakefield’s Betty Sworowski and goes out at 12.15pm.
Photography credit: Leaderboard