The Women & Golf Bermuda Trophy celebrated its 10th birthday in style with 44 players taking part in the 54-hole tournament over the championship Port Royal Golf Course.
Port Royal had played host the previous week to the PGA Tour so the course was in magnificent condition with greens and some wicked pin positions!
Sally Jee from Rothley Park and Sue Pendleton from Aldeburgh, both first timers at the event, led on the first day with a fine 35 points. After a day off, play resumed with some testing windy conditions. Sue Pendleton, who is accustomed to the windy Suffolk coast, posted 34 points to lead the way into the final round by 4 points from Gill O’Donnell.
By the end of the front nine Gill had drawn level with Sue and it was nip and tuck all the way until a fabulous approach shot, that just lipped out of the hole at the challenging par-5 17th put her two in the lead with one hole to play, the even more challenging 18th. After a nervy drive and second shot, Gill managed to scramble a point good enough to clinch the title by a slender one point margin from Sue, with Margaret Bentley of Stoke-by-Nayland in third place.
This was Gill O’Donnell’s 3rd attempt at winning the title, a 12-handicapper living in Texas but originally from England, who followed in the footsteps of last year’s champion Carole Davidson in more ways than one. Carole was runner-up in 2017 before winning in 2018 and Gill was runner-up in 2018. Both Carole and Gill trained as Chartered Accountants at the same time in the same city of Southampton at competing firms but never met - a parallel universe indeed. Gill also met up with a pal, Sue Branston, from her old golf club, The Downshire. Some 15 years ago the pair would regularly play together, but until they arrived they had no idea they were on the same trip - a lovely Bermuda reunion!
Gill said of her victory: “This event never disappoints and I’m thrilled to win the Bermuda Trophy. Some ladies visit in pairs or small groups, but there are many singles like me, and it is the perfect trip if you are on your own, as mixing is so easy.“
Whilst the trophy is much coveted, the trip involves many other fun team formats. The first of which was played at Turtle Hill, one of the world’s finest par-3 courses. The winners were, Nicola Adkins (Woburn) Cheryl Power (Langley Park) Gina Gruchy (La Moye) and Claire Strong (Haywards Heath).
The Texas Scramble at Port Royal was won by Sue Branston (Naunton Downs) Silke Schelenz (Aldeburgh) Christine Ratcliffe (Ely City) and Susan Law (Gog Magog) whilst the winners of the Gosling’s Black Seal team trophy were Cheryl Power, Gina Gruchy, Kim Brantigan (Letchworth) and Deborah Connor (Letchworth).
As is tradition, all players take part in the Blind Date team event and this was won by Caroline Mansley (Ratho Park), Gill O’Donnell (Woodlands, Texas) Ronnie Follenfant (Isle of Wedmore) and Sue Rutherford (Pannal).
In addition to the champion, winners of the individual event, which is played in two handicap divisions, were Margaret Bentley (Stoke-by-Nayland) and Sue Pendleton (Aldeburgh). Joint runners-up in the 2nddivision (The Rum Swizzles) were Nina Nielsen (Woodbridge) and Liz Hewett (Royal Cromer), whilst in the first division (The Dark & Stormies), Gina Gruchy was runner-up and Caroline Mansley was third.
The players enjoyed some terrific prizes from our generous sponsors, ETIQUS, Bushnell, Colmar, Skechers, Sabona, Port Royal, Pompano Beach Club, Gosling’s, Lili of Bermuda and Women & Golf.
PGA Professional Christine Langford who. once again hosted the tournament and was on hand to give some coaching, counselling and to play some golf with the ladies said: “I have been lucky enough to host this event for the last 8 years, over 340 women golfers from 12 countries have taken part and some lifetime friendships have been forged."
"It is a very special event and is hugely successful due to the collaboration of Port Royal, Pompano Beach Club, A Golfing Experience and our fabulous sponsors. Thank you to everyone for their continued support and to the great ladies of the class of 2019.”
Next year’s event is scheduled for 5-15 Nov (10 days) or 8-15 (7 days), book early to avoid disappointment!