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Mother and daughter win championship


Daily Mail
17 Oct 2012

WHEN Liana O’Sullivan encouraged her mother, Hilja, to take up golf again, little could they imagine that they would be winning the world’s largest golf tournament within eight years.
But Hilja and Liana, from the Stocksbridge & District club at Sheffield, enjoyed a day out to remember yesterday at the Marriott Forest of Arden as they lifted the Daily Mail Foursomes trophy after two emphatic victories.
The O’Sullivans beat Karen Ashcroft and Cathy Downey, from the Slinfold club in Sussex, 5&4 in the final after another decisive victory in the morning semi-finals, 4&3 against Carole Ryder and Gill Singh, from the Tytherington club in Cheshire.
Hilja, 63, said: ‘I could not believe we were coming here in the first place. The most important thing was just to win the first game on Monday morning so we did not let our supporters down. I never imagined we would actually win it.’
Now Liana, 23, a three-time Sheffield and District champion who represented Yorkshire Schools, will be under pressure to hand out the drinks to members when she returns to her job behind the bar at the Stocksbridge club.
The O’Sullivans are a well-known family at Stocksbridge, with Liana holding the ladies’ course record and her brother, Liam, holding the men’s course record.
Defeat for Karen and Cathy followed their disappointment last year, when they missed out on a place in the final by one shot.
Hilja and Liana stomed into a six-hole lead after just eight holes and, although Karen and Cathy won the ninth to turn five down, they never looked like turning the final around.
Karen, 43, who plays for Sussex’s second team, said: ‘We were just happy to get into the final. We just ran out of steam a little bit. This morning’s semi-final was just so intense.’
The ambitions of the Slinfold pair had been teetering on the brink in that semi-final against Truro’s Sarah-Jane Boyd and Nathalie John, when Karen’s approach shot to the 17th green rolled off the green and towards the water hazard guarding the putting surface. However the ball stopped just short and, despite a tricky stance, 57-year-old Cathy holed the chip to seal a 2&1 victory.
Sarah-Jane had been looking to celebrate her 21st birthday yesterday by adding the trophy to the Cornwall, South West England and British Amateur titles she had won already this year.
The Truro golfer had enlisted the not-inconsiderable help of Nathalie, 26, herself a former junior county champion who plays for Cornwall’s second team.
As it was, Sarah-Jane had to make do with a cake and a chorus of Happy Birthday as Hilja and Liana made off with the trophy.
Hilja and Liana had beaten Carole Ryder and Gill Singh, from the Tytherington club near Macclesfield, 4&3 in their morning semi-final.

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