Northamptonshire pair Ann Lester and Christina Hancock sealed victory in the Coronation Foursomes Grand Final in St Andrews, tasting success in the 65th anniversary of one of the largest domestic golf participation events.
Over the Eden Course at the Home of Golf, the Whittlebury Park Golf Club team shone in the autumnal sun to post a winning score of 38 points in the handicap stableford foursomes format.
Emerging victorious from the 32 finalists on their first ever visit to St Andrews, Lester and Hancock also booked a place in the Pro-Am for the 2019 Women's British Open at Woburn.
Norma Hughes and Julia Line from Llanymynech GC on the English-Welsh border finished second on 36 points, with Vicky Corner and Lilian Allison (Parklands GC, Newcastle upon Tyne) taking third place on 34 points.
As part of The R&A’s continuing drive to encourage more women and girls into playing golf, the event celebrates the camaraderie, companionship and friendly competition that women and girls have enjoyed over the last 64 years.
Six handicapper Hancock, who won the Area final at Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire with Lester to qualify for the Grand Final, said: "We are absolutely delighted and completed stunned to win".
"We’ve had the most wonderful time and enjoyed it so much. It’s been a privilege actually, we felt like winners just getting here to be honest".
"We were thrilled to experience St Andrews ourselves for the first time after watching it so many times on the TV. Meeting all the ladies has been so nice and all of our friends have been saying ‘don’t send us any more photos, we are really jealous’!"
Over 25,000 women and girl golfers from over 1,100 clubs took part this year for the chance to etch their names in the Coronation Foursomes roll of honour.
Local competitions were organised by clubs across Great Britain and Ireland to give golfers the opportunity to reach the Area Finals, before the top 16 teams booked their trip to St Andrews (including a stay at the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa and awards dinner) for the finale.
Lester, who plays off a 29 handicap and only recently took up the sport, added: "The sun being out and the blue skies, St Andrews was a picture. It was stunning".
"Christina gave me a lot of good advice and we just managed to stay out of trouble. I only became a club member for the first time last year at Whittlebury Park. I got a handicap for the first time 18 months ago, bought some clubs and this has now been an absolute thrill, I can’t believe it".
"I’m going to have a lesson every week from now until the Women’s British Open Pro-Am! We have been so relaxed in each other’s company and we look forward to having fun at Woburn."
Established in 1953 to celebrate the Queen’s Coronation, the Coronation Foursomes is open to all members of affiliated golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland who hold a current CONGU handicap of 36 or under.
Please visit the Coronation Foursomes page at www.randa.org to find out more information.
Image credit: John Stewart