Hertfordshire’s Jackie Foster came from four shots back to win the English senior women’s stroke play championship on a wet day at Burnham Beeches Golf Club.
Hertfordshire’s Jackie Foster came from four shots back to win the English senior women’s stroke play championship on a wet day at Burnham Beeches Golf Club in Buckinghamshire.
She returned a closing 77 to finish on 10-over, winning by two shots from Aileen Greenfield of Sussex, who was also last year’s runner-up, and Cheshire’s Cath Rawthore, the English senior women’s amateur champion.
This is Foster’s first major title and, after making her senior debut only last year, it marks rapid progress to the top. “I am so pleased,” said Foster, who is also the Hertfordshire senior champion.
She reached the semi-finals of the English senior women’s amateur in May and was keen to do well in this championship.
But she added: “I’m really surprised, I didn’t expect to win in such a good quality field. I just came with the idea of playing the best I could and doing myself justice.”
Foster (Bishops Stortford) avoided any information about the progress of her rivals but for much of the round she was locked in a ding-dong battle for top spot.
She set out four shots behind Sue Spencer (Whittington Heath) and one behind Yorkshire’s Karen Jobling (Richmond). But, before long, there was little to separate the three players.
Spencer got off to a slow start, although she hit her stride in the middle of the round and finished tied fourth with Caroline Berry (Bromborough). Jobling started well, but went on to miss too many fairways to maintain her progress and finished tied 13th, alongside Chris Quinn (Hockley) and Linda Hunt (Newbury & Crookham).
Meanwhile, Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe) and Cath Rawthore (Sale), were playing steady golf in the testing conditions and returned 76 and 77 respectively to move up the leaderboard into second place. Greenfield had nine consecutive pars on the outward holes before a more up and down finish; while Rawthore dropped her shots on the outward half but came home in level par.
Foster’s golf was also extremely composed, despite the heavy rain at the start and finish of her round, which caused a suspension of play for a period after the greens flooded.
She commented: “I found it difficult to tell how wet the greens were and to get the pace right today. There were maybe a couple of putts I could have made but I’m really pleased with the round and very happy with the way I’ve played this week.“
Foster sang the praises of her husband, Ian, who was on the bag, remarking: “It was so important to have a caddy in this weather, it was on and off with the rainwear all the time.
The over 65 trophy was won by Katherine Irving from Castle Royle in Berkshire.
Footnote: On Sunday evening Jackie Foster was in A&E after stepping on a broken ring file and puncturing her foot. However, golf shoes – with their support – proved the perfect footwear and she was able to play without undue discomfort, only revealing the injury after the title was hers.
(Image © Leaderboard Photography)
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