Yorkshire golf: Mary Durrans ends half-century wait to win top prize at Huddersfield

Mary Durrans, left, with Huddersfield lady captain Liz Roberts.
Mary Durrans, left, with Huddersfield lady captain Liz Roberts.
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OCTOGENARIAN Mary Durrans has finally achieved a target that has been in her sights during more than 50 years as a member at Huddersfield by winning the coveted Lady Captain's Prize.

Durrans, who represents Great Britain at tennis and is currently ranked world No 13 in the over-80 category, shot a three-over-par 76 in round one.

This left her seven shots behind 21-year-old leader Harriet Richardson - 62 years Durrans's junior - who carded a superb net 69.

Richardson was one of only three players in the 60-strong field who came in with a sub-par score despite warm and sunny conditions.

The second round saw head green keeper Ben Turner set up a challenging course, with some tricky pin positions and very fast greens.

Durrans was one of the early starters, alongside Claire Greenwood, and showed her poise to come in with a net 72, one under par.

Yorkshire county players Hannah Holden and Megan Clarke were unable to mount a challenge while the Yorkshire Veterans' champion Pat Wrightson could only manage a three-over-par 76.

Richardson, meanwhile, failed to capitalise on her first round and came in with an 80.

The result remained a secret ahead of a celebratory supper prior to the prize presentation and, with 96 ladies in attendance to celebrate the highlight of lady captain Liz Roberts's year, she and secretary Joyce Ironside stood to announce the results.

The tension mounted as the subsidiary prizes were revealed before a visibly moved Roberts announced Durrans as the overall winner of the competition with a score of 148. Fiona Miller finished runner-up, a shot back.

The winner, who was given a standing ovation, commented as she received her prize: "It just shows you should never give up."

It was surprising that Durrans had any energy left for a two-day golf tournament since in the preceding 13 days she had driven one thousand miles, attending graduation ceremonies for two of her grandchildren, representing Yorkshire in tennis matches at two separate locations - and spending two days spectating at Wimbledon.

Even the night before the first round of Lady Captain's event she managed to squeeze in a game of tennis at Huddersfield Lawn Tennis Club.

Winner of the nine-hole Stableford was Elaine Holmes while consolation was Richardson's with victory in the gross section with 158.

Best Silver Division score on day one came from Georgia Holden (71) and the best Silver Division score on day two was provided by Carin Schrader (75).

Best Bronze Division day one score was 72, from Amanda Hill, with Cherrie Myers shooting 75 for the best Bronze Division day two score.

Nearest the line was last year's captain Jean Gee, nearest the pin on the 13th was Alison Graham, Hannah Holden won the putting competition, and the Junior Trophy went to Holden's sister Georgia.