Saturday, September 22, 2007



Yorkshire won the (ELGA) County Finals for the fourth year in a row when they beat Hampshire 5-4 at Brokenhurst Manor in a match which was decided by the last putt on the last green.
The honour fell to 16-year-old Kim Crooks of Yorkshire, who has made her debut in first-team golf this season. She came back from one down after 16 holes to snatch the crucial half which ensured her team’s victory.
Her opponent, Layla Ahmed, did all she could to win the 18th. She played a superb pitch to within three feet of the pin but her brave birdie putt lipped out and the hole was halved in par.
It was a tense and exciting finale to the three-day competition. The teams had each won two matches when they faced each other in the title showdown – and both sides appeared equally determined to take the honours.
Yorkshire edged 2-1 ahead in the morning foursomes, but Hampshire took a grip on the singles and established a narrow lead in four matches at the halfway stage.
The players continued their close battle over the inward holes with four matches finishing on the 18th and another on the 17th.
The battle between internationals Kerry Smith and Naomi Edwards, was typical of the play. Hampshire’s Kerry was one up at the turn but was quickly pulled back to all square before again establishing a lead on the 16th – only to lose it on the 17th.
The game was decided in extraordinary circumstances on the par-4 18th when Naomi’s drive ran through the hole and up a path between the pro's shop and the ELGA championship office. She chipped back to beside the green and pitched on for three. But Kerry was safely on in two and her par gave her a one-hole win.
Elsewhere the momentum was swinging to and fro between the two teams. Hampshire’s Helen Wheeler again demonstrated her stunning short game as she defeated GB&I international Rachel Bell on the final hole.
However, Yorkshire’s Sara Garbutt, the county champion, and Emma Duggleby, the British mid-amateur champion, both delivered vital points to their team’s scoreline.
Meanwhile, Nikki Dunn, another Yorkshire 16-year-old, scored an impressive half against GB&I international Liz Bennett.
After the deciding game was finished both captains paid tribute to their teams. Yorkshire’s Sue Milner said: “It’s just wonderful, I just can’t believe it.” Hampshire’s Bridget Moore remarked: “The matches were so close all afternoon and the girls did brilliantly.”
The result gives Yorkshire their ninth outright win in the competition. They have also once shared the title.
In the day’s other match Glamorgan and Leicestershire & Rutland halved 4½-4½.

Final placings: 1 Yorkshire, 2 Hampshire, 3, Leicestershire & Rutland, 4 Glamorgan.

Match results.
(Yorkshire names first).
Foursomes: Nikki Dunn & Kim Crooks lost to Liz Bennett & Kerry Smith 8 and 7, Emma Duggleby & Naomi Edwards bt Tracey Boyes & Katie Mundy 3 and 1, Sara Garbutt & Rachel Bell bt Helen Wheeler & Layla Ahmed 4 and 3 (2-1).
Singles: Garbutt bt Mundy 4 and 2, Dunn halved with Bennett, Edwards lost to Smith 1 hole, Bell lost to Wheeler 1 hole, Crooks halved with Ahmed, Duggleby bt Katie Thompson 3 and 1 (3-3).
(Leicestershire names first)
Foursomes: Tracy Bourne & Jo Morris bt Rachel Hunt & Rhian Thomas 5 and 4, Kym Larratt & Jenny Cooper lost to Lydia Hall & Becky Harries 3 and 2, Helen Lowe & Gemma Parkes lost to Gemma Bradbury & Amy Rees 4 and 3 (1-2).
Singles: Larratt bt Hall 4 and 3, Cooper lost to Harries 5 and 4, Morris halved with Rees, Bourne lost to Bradbury 1 hole, Lowe beat Hunt 3 and 2, Parkes beat Thomas 2 holes (3 1/2-2 1/2).
Lyndsey HewisonPress & PR Officer
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