The site for
golf news
you can't find
anywhere else!
Webmaster: Gillian Kirkwood
Contributing Editor: Colin Farquharson

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Senior Scots women beat England for

first time - now for title ... but let's

not forget what happened at Irvine!

Scotland must be favourites to win the Senior Women's Home Internationals for the first time at Newport Golf Club, Wales tomorrow after achieving a first win over England since the over-50s series began six years ago.

The Scots, skippered by Pamela Williamson, took the morning foursomes 2-1 and, in a nerve-tingling finish to the second day, shared the singles 2 ˝-2 ˝ to win 4 ˝-3 ˝.

They are the only country with two wins out of two going into the third and final day when they complete their programme by playing defending champions Wales.

A word of warning … three weeks ago a younger Scotland team went into the final day of the Women's Home Internationals at Irvine, also needing only a draw for the title … and were beaten by Wales!

At Newport, Wales have found their form in time to test the Scots' championship aspirations. After losing 6-2 to England on the opening day, the Welsh dragon slew the Irish 4-1 in the singles for a 5-3 win after losing the foursomes 2-1.

Scotland's heroine so far as been St Andrews hotelier Fiona de Vries (St Rule) with four wins out of four. She's closely followed by Kathleen Sutherland (Royal Montrose), called into the team only last week when star player Lorna Bennett dropped out for domestic reasons.

Kathleen has not been used in the foursomes but she has won both her singles ties.

It was former Scottish girls champion Moira Thomson, pictured above,(Gullane Ladies) who pulled the Scots through to a notable win over the English.

She was trailing Jo Ashmore by two holes with four to play in the final singles with the Scots still needing half a point to clinch victory.

Moira responded to the pressure b y winning the 15th and 16th to square the match and then hung on through nail-biting halves at the 17th and 18th to deliver what was needed.


On a day of ideal scoring conditions – more than 30 birdies were scored during the day and there was also one eagle - England began the singles well enough with a 4 and 3 win by Christine Quinn – her fourth win in four sessions of play – over Heather Anderson in the top singles tie.
Quinn took control of the outcome with birdies at the fifth and 10th on her way to a four-hole lead after 11 holes. Anderson won back the 12th but Quinn quickly re-established a four-up advantage by winning the 14th and a half at the next was sufficient.

Scotland moved ahead 3-2 overall with a fine 3 and 2 win by Fiona de Vries over Janet Melville. It was Fiona's fourth win of the tournament and she laid the foundations by winning the second, fifth and the seventh with a birdie.
The middle part of the match was rich in sub-par figures with the 10th halved in birdies and Melville winning the 12th with a birdie to get back to one down only for De Vries to birdie the 13th and restore a two-hold lead. The Scot clinched victory by winning the 16th.

Kathleen Sutherland, who came into the Scotland team late last week on the withdrawal of Lorna Bennett, maintained her 100 per cent record in the singles – she has not been used in the foursomes - by beating Susan Dye on the 18th green.

This was another quality match, full of birdies – and that eagle. Dye got the first birdie at the short second and won the fourth to go two up. Sutherland came storming into the picture by winning six of the next seven holes, including birdies at the fifth and seventh, an eagle at the 10th and a birdie at the 11th.

That put the Scot three up but Dye wasn't finished yet. She birdied the 12th and also won the 14th to be only one down. Sutherland dug deep for yet another birdie to go two up again at the 15th. Dye kept her hopes alive by winning the 17th to be one down on the 18th tee but Sutherland got the half she needed at the last for a one-hole victory at the end of a great match.

That meant Scotland, with 4pt in the bag, could not lose the match but there was a lot of golf still to be played.

England put a third point on the board when Lucy Newton beat Mary Smith by 3 and 1. Smith got off to a flying start by winning the first with a par and the second with a birdie.

Newton got into her stride to win the sixth, ninth, 10th and 11th to be two up before Smith won back the 12th. After three tight halves, Newton got the decisive wins at the 16th and 17th.

Scotland led 4-3 but England, when Jo Ashmore was three up after six holes, having birdied the first and fifth against Moira Thomson, had high hopes of salvaging a draw.

But Thomson hung on in there and squared an exciting match at the 12th. Ashmore broke clear again with wins at the 14th and 15th but her Scottish opponent rose to the occasion and the pressure. She squared the match by winning the 15th and 16th . The 17th and 18th were halved - and then the Scots celebrations began!

Day 2 details:

Foursomes: Heather Anderson and Fiona Hunter lost to Christine Quinn and Lucy Newton 1 hole; Mary Smith and Moira Thomson bt Janet Melville and Jo Ashmore 1 hole; Fiona De Vries and Noreen Fenton bt Paula Parker and Rozalyn Adams 3 and 2 (2-1).
Singles: Anderson lost to Quinn 4 and 3, Kathleen Sutherland bt Susan Dye 1 hole, De Vries bt Melville 3 and 2, Smith lost to Newton 3 and 1, Thomson halved with Ashmore (2 ˝-2 ˝).

Foursomes: Vicki Thomas and Jean O’Connor bt Sheena McElroy and Phil O’Gorman 2 holes; Janet Doleman and Jane Rees lost to Helen Jones and Pat Doran 5 and 4; Ann Lewis and Denise Richards lost to Rhona Brennan and Violet McBride 3 and 1 (1-2).
Singles: Thomas halved with Violet McBride, Lewis halved with McElroy, Pamela Valentine bt Jones 2 and 1, O'Connor bt O’Gorman 6 and 5, Richards bt Brennan 7 and 6 (4-1).

Scotland 2 wins, England 1 win, Wales 1 win, Ireland 0 wins.

England’s hopes of winning the Senior Home Internationals at Newport suffered a setback today when they were beaten by Scotland 4˝-3˝. “It’s disappointing,” said England captain Sue Westall. “But good on Scotland, they played brilliantly. We shall be upbeat tomorrow and come out aiming for a win – and see what happens.”

This was the Scots’ second win of the series and puts them at the top of the table going into the third and final day, when they will play defending champions Wales. England and Wales both have one win apiece, while Ireland have lost both their matches. England play Ireland tomorrow.

Today’s match, played in ideal conditions, produced superb scoring. In the singles, England and Scotland scored 16 birdies and one eagle between them. Wales and Ireland produced another 11 birdies and two eagles.

England trailed Scotland after the morning foursomes when they won only one of the three games – and that was to prove crucial when the singles points were shared. The afternoon session was an intensely close battle.

England’s double senior champion, Chris Quinn, maintained her 100 per cent winning record with a 4 and 3 success to level the overall score. Scotland moved ahead again with wins over Janet Melville and Sue Dye – and with four points in the bag, could not be beaten. However, England battled on and, after Lucy Newton won her match, the team had hopes of a draw.

It all depended on the match of Jo Ashmore who was two up after 14 holes. But her opponent fought back and squared the match by winning the 15th and 16th – and the remaining two holes were halved.