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Walton Heath women triumphant

2009 winners, Walton Heath
Daily Mail
21 Oct 2009

Nicola Smith, 20, showed she is making good use of a second gap year following her A levels as she partnered Jane Burrage to the Daily Mail Foursomes' women's title at the Marriott Forest of Arden.

In stark contrast to the men's final, there was never more than two holes between the pairs as they pulled off a 2&1 triumph over Longcliffe's Sarah Haslum and Gilly Higgins to take the trophy back to Walton Heath. Nicola and Jane formed a scratch partnership for the qualifying competition for the club which hosted the Ryder Cup in the 1980s, and Jane, 61, said after their triumph: 'I think I have found myself a secret weapon.'

The Walton Heath women trailed by two holes early on but won three holes from the 12th to go two up themselves, Nicola chipping in for a spectacular birdie at the 13th. But the ladies from the Leicestershire course of Longcliffe, who won their quarter-final from four down with four to play in the golden autumn glow of Monday, again showed their mettle as the rain-filled skies turned leaden grey. Sarah holed a gutsy 20-foot putt to take the game on after finding the water at the 16th, and Gilly holed an eight-footer at the next. But Nicola holed a tricky four footer to seal the win and the trophy.

Now she hopes to reduce her two handicap to scratch by the end of her second gap year to qualify for a golfing scholarship in America. Nicola and Jane had ended the strong challenge of Wiltshire stalwart Jo Shorrocks and county veteran Sally Huffam, of Hamptworth, with a one-hole victory in a tense morning semi-final, while the Longcliffe ladies had beaten Katharine Devenish and Anne-Marie Forrester, from the Wrotham Heath club in Kent, 3&1.

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