Friday, September 21, 2007

The new British senior women's open amateur champion - Canadian Alison Murdoch, who has Scottish roots in the Dumfries area! (image courtesy of the Ladies Golf Union).


Edinburgh's Noreen Fenton finished a gallant fourth behind runaway winner Alison Murdoch from Canada in the British senior women's open amateur golf championship which ended at Copt Heath Golf Club, Solihull today.
Noreen was consistency personnified with three rounds of 79 for a total of 18-over-par 237 over a punishing ladies' course with a testing par of 73, which no player, not even the new champion, equalled in any of the rounds.
Noreen had no birdies in her final round and did well to hang on in there after a double bogey 6 at the fourth threatened to derail her steady effort. She was out in 40 and home in 39 in comparison with her earlier halves of 40-39 and 39-40.
Pamela Williamson (Baberton), who won the recent Canadian senior women's open amateur championship's "Super-seniors" (over-60) title, finished joint 11th with Fiona de Vries (St Rule) on 241. Pamela signed off with a 78 (37-41) and Fiona with an 80 (42-38).
Pamela's outward half of 37 was her best nine holes of the week before she double bogeyd the 12th and dropped further shots at the 13th. But she steadied up to par the last five holes - which was no mean effort over the Copt Heath finish.
Fiona birdied the 16th - her only sub-par figure of the 54 holes.
Maureen Richmond, the 1974 Curtis Cup player and now a GP in Lancashire, came joint 15th on 244 - which was quite an achievement, considering she started with halves of 49 and 43 for 92. After that she had a 74 and then a 78 (37-41), birdieing the fourth and ninth.

Give Maureen, winner of the Spanish open seniors title earlier in the year, an 82 instead of a 92 in the first round and she would have finished runner-up for the title!
Dundee's Heather Anderson birdied the fourth, 14th and 15th in closing halves of 41 and 40 for an 81 and jt 27th place with Helen Faulds (Douglas Park) on 248. Helen had three double bogeys in a closing 84.
The new champion, Alison Murdoch, is 57 and hails from Victoria in British Columbia in the farthest west point of Canada. With a name like Murdoch, no surprise to learn that she does have Scottish roots - in the Dumfries area a few generations back.

She has won three over-50s title in the space of a matter of weeks. In mid-August she was crowned Canadian senior women's open amateur champion for the fourth time in the past six years.
Last week Alison won the Irish senior women's open amateur title for the third time in the past four years. But this is her first "British" - and she did it in some style, starting the final round with a three-shot advantage and extending her lead to a final margin of seven shots from joint runners-up Christine Quinn (Hockley), the defending champion, and Rozalyn Adams (Addington Court).
Quinn was awarded the runner-up prize with a better inward half (birdies at the 14th and 18th for 37 home) than Adams. They had both finished with 78s.
With the rainfall overnight making the greens more receptive, a delighted Murdoch commented, " I felt more comfortable with the conditions today, I played really solid golf and owe this victory to my putting and short game. I don't know when I have putted this well!"