Lulu has plenty to shout about after surviving dramatic final round at Broadstone Golf Club
England international Lulu Housman held her nerve through a topsy-turvy final day to win the English Senior Women’s Strokeplay Championship in a play-off at Broadstone, Dorset.
Starting the final round two shots off the lead, Housman managed to turn in a steady, even performance, whilst her main rivals fell away.
In the end, she and Aileen Greenfield of Sussex were the last two players standing, with Housman finally clinching the title on the first hole of a sudden death play-off.
“It’s stunning, a lifetime moment,” the Middlesex player beamed after securing the victory.
“Yesterday I felt I couldn’t drive, but I putted well. Today, I drove well but couldn’t putt.
“It was a question of hanging on, being patient and hoping I would hole something.”
That moment finally came at the 18th hole when, in front of a large crowd of spectators, she managed a textbook par to seal her place in the play-off.
Housman’s jubilation on the last hole of regulation play was in stark contrast to the disappointment of Sue Dye.
The experienced Cheshire golfer, herself a two time winner of this heavily contested championship in recent years, had looked on course to complete her hat-trick when she took a slender lead into the final round. Indeed, she was still one shot ahead with one to play before disaster struck.
Her drive hit trees and came down short, her second went in the rough and, eventually, she walked off the green with a double-bogey six.
Meanwhile, eventual runner-up Greenfield, who is playing her first season of senior golf, had been four shots off the lead after the 14th, but birdied three of the remaining four holes to move to the top of the leaderboard.
“I was going to put my clubs away afterwards, it didn’t even occur to me there would be a play-off,” said the Pyecomb golfer, unaware of how well she and Housman had played.
In the end, the play-off on the par-5 opening hole provided plenty of drama. First, Housman drove into the heathery rough as she tried an ambitious line off the tee; then Greenfield attacked the green with her second, only to go in the water hazard, costing her a stroke.
Housman added: “I was maybe a bit greedy off the tee but the ball was lying nicely in the rough and I could hit it back on to right side of the hole. I knew if I could do that I would have a chance.”
So it proved as she walked off with the spoils - although she said her goals at the start of the week had been much more modest.
“I was up for it but really because I wanted to make sure of my place on the England senior team,” she said.
Greenfield, meantime, was philosophical in defeat. “If anyone had told me I would be second I would have bitten their hand off,” she said. “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits.”
Dye had to make do with third place, whilst Gill Snelson of Wellingborough took the over-65 trophy.