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Millbrook pair march on


Daily Mail
02 Jun 2009

SOMETHING incredible happens when Sandra Gardner and Nikki Jackson play in the Daily Mail Foursomes.

This is the third year running the two fifty-something women have represented Millbrook in the Daily Mail Foursomes - and they have yet to lose a match outside of finals week. That means they have taken part in 17 rounds and won all 17 matches - an incredible record in a handicap event. And they have done it during a period in which their combined handicap has dropped by 10 shots.

In fact, their only foursomes defeat came in the quarter-final at Marriott Forest of Arden in 2007 after last year’s finals at Marriott Dalmahoy were settled on a stableford format because of bad weather.

The Bedfordshire pairing have started this year’s event in formidable form, too. They convincingly beat Harewood Downs’ Dianne Bellass and Mary Upward
5&3 in round three - despite Nikki, 50, still recovering from key-hole surgery on an arthritic knee - after pulling off a crushing 8&6 victory at Chalgrave Manor in the previous round.

So what is the secret of their success. Sandra, 54, said: 'Millbrook is not the easiest course in the world, so when you get a handicap there it does travel very well.’ That was borne out when the pairing won the Newmarket Ladies Open two weeks ago.

Nikki says: ‘Sandra and I play very similar games. We hit the ball a similar distance so it is like playing your own ball.’ Whatever the reason, they are closing on a hat-trick of finals week appearances when the showpiece returns to the Marriott Forest of Arden in October.

Sandra said: ‘It would be a major achievement if we did. We did not expect to get there two years running never mind three.’

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