Roberts and Barlow claim inaugural English Women and Girls’ County ‘Champion of Champions’ crowns
By ECG Newsdesk
Lancashire's Catherine Roberts and Suffolk’s Alice Barlow are the pride of their respective counties after becoming the first winners of the new English Women and Girls’ County Champion of Champions’ tournament.
Pleasington golfer Roberts took the women’s title in dramatic style on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa Golf Club in Lincolnshire, holing a 25-foot putt on the last for a one-over 73.
That was enough to pip Cornwall’s Georgia Price, who had just chipped-in for her birdie, and Dorset’s Melissa McMahon, both of whom scored 74.
“It’s brilliant, probably the best thing I’ve ever won and it’s great for Lancashire and my club,” said Roberts, who became county champion for the third time this year.
Barlow, of Newton Green Golf Club, also won by a shot in the girls’ event, shooting a 76 to finish ahead of Devon’s Chloe Howard (Boringdon Park) and Oxfordshire’s Amy Boote (Tadmarton Heath). In addition, she finished fifth in the women’s event.
It’s the biggest win of Barlow’s career and, as her last major event before leaving junior ranks, crowns her years as a girl golfer.
The 17-year-old knew the omens were good when her tee shot on the short fifth ended up in a ditch and she had to play off a slope with one foot in the water – only to pop the ball out to two feet on her way to a par. “I knew it was going to be a good day,” she said.
However, she gave herself a few nervous moments after she three-putted both 17 and 18 for bogeys. “I thought the last couple of holes might cost me,” she said.
Roberts had no such luxury as she battled down the closing holes against Price (Bude& North Cornwall), her playing partner, and against McMahon (Lyme Regis), who was playing in the group in front.
However, she had a strong finish, playing the back nine in two-under-par, after benefitting from a putting lesson the week before the tournament. “I knew I had been hitting it well but you can’t play well if you’re not putting well and my putting had been off in the run-up to this,” she admitted.
Both players welcomed the new event, which involves the women and girls in County Champions’ weekend alongside the boys, men and senior men.
When Barlow she heard about the new competition she was very keen to take her place in the field, saying: “It was the thought of playing here at the home of golf in England. It’s great.”
Photo © Leaderboard Photography