HUDDERSFIELD’S Pat Wrightson came up against an opponent with a red-hot putter as she fell to defeat in the final of the England Senior Women’s Amateur Championships over-60s’ flight at Hallamshire.
Carol Wild (Notts Ladies) required a mere 12 putts on the outward nine, form on the greens which helped set up her 7&6 victory over former England Senior Women’s captain Wrightson.
Wild lifted the Ann Howard Trophy while in the main flight, for the Wendy Taylor Salver, Pyecombe’s Aileen Greenfield shrugged off the bridesmaid’s tag when she sealed a convincing 6&4 final victory against Sale’s Cath Rawthore.
Sussex player Greenfield has been runner-up in three national championships and was in tears after her win over Rawthore.
“I never really thought I would win,” said Greenfield. “It’s just something you would dream of.”
When she started playing as a girl she was, she says: “Okay, but not brilliant. There were always so many better golfers than me, but I just enjoyed playing.”
When she moved into the women’s game she was playing at the same time as the likes of Sheffield’s Alison Nicholas and Laura Davies, who went on to win six major professional titles between them.
When senior golf came along Greenfield rapidly played her way into the England team and, finally, to a long-awaited national title.
She moved steadily through this championship, comfortably qualifying for the match play in 12th place. She went on to knock out former champions Caroline Berry and Helen Lowe before defeating Staffordshire’s Sue Spencer (Whittington Heath) in the semi-finals.
On the other side of the draw Rawthore (Sale) knocked out Cumbria’s Janette Spencer (Appleby) in her semi-final to target her second win in this tournament.
Rawthore made the opening move in the final, winning the first hole, but after four holes the players were back on level terms and Greenfield never again fell behind.
Greenfield’s golf was impressively steady, with long shots arrowing at the green, supported by a fine short game. By contrast Rawthore began to find trouble, losing a ball in the trees on the 10th and having to take another penalty on the 13th where her approach to the green found gorse.
Greenfield made steady ground, dominating the back nine to seal her win with a birdie on 14.
It was a memorable tournament for Greenfield in more ways than one. She had a hip replacement six months ago and she was able to play without pain.
“The difference is massive, I haven’t got any pain,” she said. “Hitting was always all right, but it’s the walking. The hills here have been a bit challenging, but it’s been fine.”