Sunday, April 24, 2016

Yorkshire's Olivia Winning comes from four 

behind to win "Helen Holm" for second time

          Deja vu ... Olivia Winning with the Helen Holm Trophy, three years after her first    success at Royal Troon 
    Picture by courtesy of Kenny Smith

Olivia Winning, 21, from Rotherham came from four strokes behind with only six holes to play to score a second win in the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur golf championship at Troon today (Sunday) - she also won the prestigious 54-hole event in 2013.
Defending champion Olivia Mehaffey (Royal Co Down Ladies) made almost all the running over the three days and after 12 holes of the final round at the testing Royal Troon links, where the spectator stands for the 2016 Open championship are in place already, the 18-year-old world No 9 female amateur led overall at two under par - two shots ahead of Ireland's Maria Dunne, three ahead of Sweden's Linda Lundqvist, the joint leader after the two rounds at Troon Portland, and by four from fourth-placed Olivia Winning.
Mehaffey lost it playing into the northwesterly wind over the last few holes. She bogeyed the 13th, short 14th, 15th and 17th for 40 home and a round of five-over 77 for a two-over final total of 218 and second place.
Olivia Winning, , an U18 girl international in 2012-2013 but uncapped at women's level by England despite her 2013 Helen Holm triumph, seized her chance and a four-birdie round - gains at the fourth, sixth, 10th and 16th - enabled her to compensate for bogeys at the 11th, 13th and 15th, coming home in 37 for a par 72 and a one-stroke victory with a one-over total of 217.
Maria Dunne, was level in the lead with Mehaffey at one over par after 15 holes, despite a bogey at the 14th but a double bogey 5 at the short 17th torpedoed her victory hopes and saw her finish with a 75 (35-40) for third place on 219.
Bethan Popel (Long Ashton) finished joint fifth on 221 - four behind the winner - after a closing 76 (39-47) that included a double bogey 7 at the long fourth and a double bogey 6 at the par 4 18th. Pars at these holes would have tied the Bristol player with Winning. 

     2-1-3 FINISHERS (left to right): Olivia Mehaffey, Olivia Winning and Maria Dunne.


The GB and I Curtis Cup team for Dun Laoghaire in June will be announced at 2pm on Friday. Not knowing the format for working out the final points order in the last LGU Order of Merit table which will grant the two highest placed players, who are not in the top four eligible players in the World Rankings, automatic selection to the team of eight, but I would hazard a guess that Sophie Lamb's failure to survive the "Helen Holm" cut has knocked her out of the reckoning ... unless she is one of the LGU Selection Panel's two wild-card picks.
At the same time Meghan MacLaren, who made a special trip over from the United States college circuit - she's a student at Florida International University and last week chalked up her eighth USA win in four years - probably has done herself a power of good with a joint best round of 72 at Royal Troon.
Rochelle Morris, well placed before the "Helen Holm," will have consolidated her position by making the cut.

Shannon McWilliam, 16-year-old from Aboyne, was the leading Scot, finishing tied 18th on 227 with rounds of 72, 75 and 80 (41-39) for 227.  She had no birdies over the windy Royal Troon links and had a double bogey 5 at the short eighth plus six bogeys.
Last year, Shannon finished third after leading the field with six holes to play.
Second-best Scots were Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies) and Hazel MacGarvie (Troon Ladies), both on 229. Ailsa's ronds were 76-79-74, Hazel 78-75-76.
McWilliam and Chloe Goadby (St Regulus), representing Scotland in the international team event, finished third behind Ireland and England. 

No wonder the "Helen Holm" is Olivia Winnng's favourite tournament!
 FROM IONA SCOTT, Scottishgolf
Olivia Winning has won only two tournaments since 2013 - the "Helen Holm" twice!

“I am so excited, it’s special”, she said after being presented with the Helen Holm Trophy and silver  medal for a second time.

“Royal Troon is  a difficult links course but I think I’ve played it enough times now to have found my way round. I played it really well back in 2013 when I won and this year I just kept it simple.
"I wasn’t as mad with the birdies as I was last time, just kept it steady and it worked out in the end.

“I’ve been working on my swing constantly in the last two years. When I came up to Scotland for the tournament in 2013,  I knew I was hitting it well and I could go out there with confidence. 
"This year it was a more conservative approach as my swing is not in a great place. It’s getting better but I’m still not happy with where it is, so it’s nice just to get a bit of confidence back.

“I love Scotland and I love Troon. This is my favourite tournament, my favourite golf course and I couldn’t be happier. If there is one tournament I’d want to win any year, it’s this one and to have done it twice now is incredible. I’m super happy.”
The bronze medal was won by Maria Dunne of Skerries Golf Club, Ireland. Level with Mehaffey in the lead with three holes to play, Dunne finished third, a shot behind the runner-up  on 219.

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