A new partnership proved a winner when Marcella Tuttle and Lynn Lambert won the Plate Final at the 10th anniversary PING fourball betterball championship.
The pair from The Links, Newmarket, scored 43 points and won by two points at PING’s Gainsborough Golf Club in Lincolnshire.
“It’s really, really great, so special. I just want to take it in” said Lynn, who is the ladies’ vice-captain.
“It’s a lovely honour for the club,” added Marcella, who will follow Lynn as vice-captain.
Their closest challengers were Pam Bailey and Mel Davey from Barlaston Golf Club in Staffordshire, who scored 41 points and claimed second place on countback. They pipped Christine Glasby and Dianne Jackson of Millfield Golf Club, Lincolnshire, who played in the last group on the course.
Fourth place went to Ladbrook Park, Warwickshire, represented by Caroline Lassen and Wendy Bill, who scored 40 points. They beat Sue Light and Sue Lawton of Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire, on countback. Ann Wild and Pamela Ellis of Rochdale, Lancashire, scored 39 points and took sixth place, winning again on countback from four other pairs.
Marcella and Lynn teamed up for the first time this season for the PING tournament, which is run by England Golf, and they came through an initial entry of over 16,000 women from almost 850 clubs. The top 50 pairs in the country qualified for tomorrow’s Grand Final while the next 50 pairs went through to today’s Plate Final.
“In the qualifier Lynn sank a 40ft putt on the last green for four points, which gave us 42 points and we scraped into the final on the back nine score,” said Marcella, a five handicapper, who was runner-up in the Cambs & Hunts ladies’ championship and is a county player.
Today Marcella boosted the score with three gross birdies, on the 7th, 13th and 16th – and missed a two-footer for a fourth.
“We dovetailed really well,” she said. “When I went off, Lynn came on and when I had the birdies she chipped and putted for me to be able to go for the putt.”
The last few holes were testing for the pair, who were well aware they were amassing a good score, but they held on well to finish strongly.
Marcella, who has played golf for 39 years, has played in national finals before, but this was a first for Lynn, who took up golf in 2003 and is now playing off 10. “I am chuffed to bits” she said.
The Ping Fourball Betterball tournament began in 2006 and, because of its popularity, the Plate Final was added in 2009.
PING’s European marketing manager Dave Fanning commented:
“I have been involved in this event since the very beginning and it is great to now be celebrating the 10th anniversary. We are very proud that we are involved in the ladies’ game from the very top and particularly proud of this event because it encourages ladies of all handicaps.”
The putting prize was won by Wendy Bill (Ladbrook Park) and the long driving competition by Jackie Foster (Bishops Stortford).
Image copyright: Leaderboard Photography