Senior Women’s Stroke Play – Final Day: Champion Rees savours double delight

Jane Rees celebrated a double success at the English Senior Women’s Stroke Play Championship – overall victory and achieving a scratch handicap for the first time in her career.

Three rounds of 71, 69 and 68 allowed the Gloucestershire golfer to post a 54-hole total of two-under par and claim a six-shot victory at the event played on the Green Course at Frilford Heath Golf Club.

In addition, her final two rounds under par will mean a memorable cut of her handicap.

“First time ever down to scratch at the grand old age of 62!” said the Welsh international with a broad smile.

“I’m delighted with that.

“I’ve been steady all week – the greens have been perfect for me as they are very receptive and not too quick.

“So, fire them into the pins and they are not too slippery.

“I didn’t three putt again and my driving was better today.”

The Minchinhampton Golf Club member’s final two rounds allowed her to see of the threat of her nearest competitors with Ireland’s Laura Webb finishing runner up on a total of +4 and Frilford Heath member Kate Evans claiming third place on +5.

There can be no doubt that Rees fully merited her victory.

Over the course of three days playing in sweltering conditions as well as the heat of battle, Rees was a model of consistency.

Rees never dropped outside the top two all week after an opening round of 71. A sign of things to come was noted from her first three holes of competition – all birdies.

On day two, a one-under par round of 69 characterised by four birdies in her opening five holes allowed Rees to carry a one-shot advantage into the final day’s play.

Mercifully, the heat which marked the opening 36 holes of play had calmed down by the final round.

In cooler air, Rees was able to start her round with a birdie at the second to put more daylight between herself and rivals including last year’s champion Aileen Greenfield and two-times winner Jackie Foster.

Frilford Heath member Evans had been pushing hard for the title all week, but Rees was able to rhyme off three birdies in a row from the 8th hole to give herself a cushion going into the home stretch.

Webb’s final round of 69 was the only other score under par as the tournament drew to a close.

With husband David supporting from the side, Rees said of the win: “It feels very good thank you. I’m quite excited.

“I was a bit lucky, a few trees helped me but I was much steadier today.

“It was not my normal game, I can assure you.

“My husband would normally caddie, but he was here to watch.”

It was also a day that Tracey Williamson will recall fondly. The Royal Cromer member had an ace at the 164-yard first hole with a beautifully struck five-iron – the fourth of her career and second in an England Golf tournament!

In a weather-affected event, Surrey’s Kathleen Lucey won the handicap competition.

The 36-hole event was shortened to 18 holes after thunderstorms moved into Frilford Heath before the conclusion of round two on Wednesday.

Lucey – playing off a handicap of 10 – took the honours with her nett first round score of level par.

In the over 65s category, Kathering Irving from Castle Royale Golf and Country Club emerged victorious and was awarded the Christine Willis Salver.

Details of all scores from both scratch and handicap sections of the Senior Women’s Amateur Stroke Play can be found on the championship homepage.

Photography: Leaderboard