ROTHERHAM GC’S Olivia Winning overcame a four-shot deficit heading into the final round to win the Helen Holm Scottish women’s open stroke play championship at Royal Troon for a second time.
The 21-year-old was surprised to find she was in with a chance of the title after closing with a 54-hole total of one-over par following rounds of 73 72 72.
Defending champion Olivia Mehaffey, from Ireland, had topped the leaderboard after days one and two. But bogeys at 13, 14 and 15 meant she slipped back into a share of the lead with Winning.
A further bogey at the 17th put Mehaffey a shot behind, leaving Winning biting her nails in the clubhouse and “freaking out” at the thought she might win.
But, win she did, with her par final round enough to see her through when Mehaffey was unable to pull it back on the final hole.
Winning previously captured this title in 2013 and this is her first victory in any tournament since then.
“I am so excited, it’s special”, she said after being presented with the Helen Holm Trophy and silver gilt medal for a second time.
“It’s a difficult course, but I think I’ve played it enough times now to have found my way round.
“I played it really well back in 2013 when I won and this year I just kept it simple. I wasn’t as mad with the birdies as I was last time, just kept it steady and it worked out in the end,” said Winning, a former England girl international.
“I’ve been working on my swing constantly in the last two years. When I came up in 2013, I was hitting it well and I knew I was hitting it well and I could go out there with confidence.
“This year it was a more conservative approach as my swing is not in a great place. It’s getting better, but I’m still not happy with where it is, so it’s nice just to get a bit of confidence back.
“I love Scotland, I love Troon, this is my favourite tournament, my favourite golf course and I couldn’t be happier. If there is one tournament I’d want to win in a year, it’s this one and to have done it twice now is incredible. I’m super happy.”
Winning had rounds of 73 72 at Troon Portland before completing the championship with level par 72 on the Old Course at Royal Troon.
As well as winning the silver medal for her second placed scored of 218, Mehaffey won the Ladies’ Club Silver Salver for the best team performance along with Chloe Ryan of Castletroy GC. The bronze medal was won by Maria Dunne of Skerries GC, who finished a shot behind on 219.