Second Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Strokeplay victory ends a difficult few years for Rotherham ace
By ECG Newsdesk
England’s Olivia Winning won the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Strokeplay Championship at Royal Troon for a second time - but only after a nail-biting wait.
The 21-year-old from Rotherham Golf Club in Yorkshire was positioned four shots off the lead going into the final round and surprised to find she was in with a chance of the title after closing with a 54-hole total of one-over-par.
All eyes had been on another Olivia, the defending champion Olivia Mehaffey from Ireland, who had topped the leaderboard after the first two days. However, three consecutive bogeys midway through her back nine meant she slipped back into a share of the lead with Winning.
A further bogey at the 17th put Mehaffeya shot behind, leaving Winning biting her nails in the clubhouse and ‘freaking out’ at the thought she might win. But win she did, with her level-par final round enough to see her through when Mehaffey was unable to pull it back on the final hole.
Winning previously captured the title in 2013 but this was her first victory in any tournament since then.
“I am so excited, it’s special”, she said after being presented with the Helen Holm Trophy and silver gilt medal.
“It’s a difficult course but I think I’ve played it enough 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.”
Winning revealed that she has been battling swing issues since her last win three years ago.
“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,” she added.
“I love Scotland, 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 in a year, it’s this one and to have done it twice now is incredible. I’m super happy.”
Five other English players finished in the top ten: BethanPopel (Long Ashton) and Annabel Bailey (Kirby Muxloe) tied fifth, while Lauren Horsford (Wimbledon Park), Bethany Garton (Royal Lytham & St Annes) and Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) shared seventh place.
Photo © Kenny Smith