Helen Orton and Julie Baker from the Marriott Forest of Arden have praised caddie Derek Stafford as their secret weapon after winning The Daily Mail Foursomes.
It was obviously meant to be when West Midlands duo Helen Orton and Julie Baker met Derek Stafford, a member at St Pierre. Preparing for the finals of the Daily Mail Foursomes, the pair bumped into five-handicapper Stafford during a practice round at the South Wales club. Stafford offered to caddie and the ladies jumped at the chance.
It proved to be a good decision, and the pair stormed their way to the title.
After knocking out Judith Baker and Brenda Green from Merrist Wood 3&1 in the semi-final, the pair defeated Hooton Ladies from Cheshire in the final 6&5. Orton and Baker started to build momentum early on in the final match and won six consecutive holes from the 5th, which proved impossible to combat for Sharon Steadman and Donna Callaghan Swann.
A tearful Baker, 56, commented: "We’re amazed! It is special to win. It’s great to keep it in the Marriott family too."
Teammate Orton, 49, added: "We probably felt more nervous on the first day and the confidence grew. It’s a format that isn’t played a lot in club golf and that makes it a challenge. You need a forgiving partnership".
"It’s been a privilege to play in and we would like to thank our fellow competitors. We came as strangers and leave as friends."
More than 120,000 golfers tried to qualify for Daily Mail Foursomes. Now one of the UK's largest club competition, over 3,000 golf clubs took part, competing through 11 marathon rounds.