A pair of Redditch GC golfers emerged victorious in the women's prestigious Daily Mail Foursomes, at Slaley Hall, after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
A pair of Redditch GC golfers emerged victorious in the women's prestigious Daily Mail Foursomes at Slaley Hall, after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Janice Kerr, who plays off a 12 handicap, and 15-handicapper Vivienne Cranton snatched the title in an epic final, after finding themselves one down with one hole to play, against Kirriemuir's Irene Park (20) and Audrey Aiken (28).
The Worcestershire pair won the last and then wrapped up the match at the first extra hole on the championship Hunting course, when Cranton sunk a pressurised seven-foot putt for a par, as the duo became winners of the world's biggest amateur golf competition.
It is 31 years since Kerr last made it to the grand finals and she dedicated the win to her late mum, Margaret, with whom she competed in 1988, and her late father, Bill, who also reached the quarter-finals in 1987 for the same club.
Kerr told the Daily Mail: "Mum was with me. She would have been thrilled. It was meant to be. I thought we had blown it on those last few holes. There was never more than one in it. In the play-off (Vivienne) hit the best six iron you've ever seen in your life to the back of the green.
"We had to give 11 shots and they were so steady. It's amazing. I can't wait to see that trophy in our club house. It is going to be absolutely fantastic."
Cranton added: "I knew I just had to go for it. It's just unbelievable. We're so proud to have done this. Our caddies and supporters have been amazing. It is very special for amateur golfers to have this kind of experience."
More than 119,000 golfers tried to qualify for the competition and more than 3,100 pairs took part, battling through a marathon 11 knock-out rounds.
Managed by Almarose, one of the UK's leading independent hotel management companies, Slaley Hall was voted ‘best golf hotel/resort in the north of England' for the fifth successive year in the 2019 Today's Golfer Travel Awards.
It is set in 1,000 acres of Northumberland moorland and forest. It is a magnificent four-star hotel in an elegant Edwardian mansion, with two challenging championship courses - the Hunting and the Priestman - which have played host to no fewer than 18 European Tour and European Senior Tour events.
The 7,000-yard, par-72 Hunting, designed by Dave Thomas, has lush sweeping fairways, streams, lakes, towering trees and banks of rhododendrons - but, aesthetics aside, it will catch out the unwary. Well-placed bunkers and tricky greens make this USGA standard course a real challenge. The quality of Slaley Hall's elder layout is illustrated by the fact the course is often dubbed ‘The Augusta of the North'.
The Priestman course was designed by Neil Coles and opened in 1999. Beautifully maintained, the course has matured magnificently. It sits on the west side of the estate, with panoramic views of the Tyne Valley and some daunting water features, and wind can be a factor on a course which hosts regularly European seniors' events.