Thursday, September 11, 2003


Should friendship with an opponent be put to one side in match-play golf, particularly international golf? That was the controversial question that was being debated at length at Cruden Bay at the end of a first day when England drew 4 1/2-4 1/2 with Wales after Scotland and Ireland had achieved the same scoreline.
The first match between Great Britain & Ireland team-mates, English champion Emma Duggleby and Wales' former European team champion, Becky Brewerton, was a titantic struggle that ended all square with both players three under par.
Later it became apparent that Duggleby and Brewerton, all square on the 18th tee, had decided on an honourable half when both players were some 30ft from the flag in three shots, i.e. Emma conceded Becky her putt while Becky did the same for Emma.
The "30ft from the flag" was the estimation of neutral observers. Miss Duggleby claimed that the putts were much closer to the hole. The fact remains that neither putted on the 18th green.
This week is Becky's last appearance in the home internationals. She will be attending the European Ladies' Tour later this year with a view to becoming a full-time tour pro.
Well over an hour later, the point shared by Emma and Becky was to prove crucial in the final result between Wales and England.
If Emma had holed her putt and Becky had not, then England would have won 5-4. If Becky had holed her putt and Emma had not, then Wales would have won 5-4.
Emma had won the first, third and fifth to go three up but Becky came back srongly with wins at the sixth, ninth and 10th to square matters.
Emma led again with a birdie 4 at the 13th but Becky levelled again with a birdie at the 17th.
Welsh champion Kate Phillips won the 18th for a one-hole win over Danielle Masters who had been four down twice before coming with a strong late run which saw her win the 13th with a birdie, the 15th, 16th and 17th to be all square on the last tee.
Alex Keighley had a 5 and 4 win over left-hander Stephanie Evans after winning six holes in a row from the seventh.
Sophie Walker was a 2 and 1 winner over Jo Pritchard, having gone three up at the seventh before being pulled back to a one-hole lead when Jo won the ninth and 13th. Sophie's renewed success at the 15th was decisive.
Fame More had a 4 and 2 win over Sarah Jones after going three up with an eagle 3 at the ninth. Fame made it a four-hole lead by winning the 11th.
Everything hung on the last singles in which Anna Highgate had the advantage on the outward half and Nicola Timmins the edge after the turn. The Welsh player's par 3 at the 16th levelled the contest. The last two holes were halved.
Both were just on the 18th green, some 30 to 40ft from the flag ... but there was no repeat of the Brewerton-Duggleby generous double concession in the first singles tie.
Timmins rolled her putt up to within 18in of the hole and was conceded a par 4. Anna Highgate followed with her approach putt to the same distance and was also conceded the putt for a square match.

Emma Duggleby & Danielle Masters v Anne Laing & Heather MacRae.
Fame More & Alex Keighley v Clare Queen & Pamela Feggans.
Nicola Timmins & Sophie Walker v Lynn Kenny & Lesley Mackay.
Becky Brewerton & Sarah Jones v Tricia Manga & Heather Nolan.
Natalee Evans & Stephanie Evans v Claire Coughlan & Helen Jones.
Anna Highgate & Kate Phillips v Maura Morrin & Tara Delaney.