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Worthing ladies pair hope to match 2006 success

Daily Mail
09 May 2017

FORMER British Stroke play champion Karen Sykes and Kathy Langham are on the charge again for Worthing in the Daily Mail Foursomes, 11 years after they finished runners-up, writes Cara Sloman
The pair, who were just pipped to the trophy in 2006 by Manchester, have regained their winning form in the largest golf tournament in the world.
They have raced into the fourth round after knocking out Heather Tidy and Sian Southerton from Bognor Regis 4&3 at home and Sykes joked: ‘We’ve come out of the woodwork again.
‘We’ve qualified a couple of times since then, we just haven’t made it that far along the line.’
The four-time Sussex county champion has competed against some of England’s most talented golfers including Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, but reaching the finals in The Daily Mail Foursomes remains a highlight for the two handicapper.
She said: ‘They were very exciting. Kathy had never experienced anything like that before. I think she found it all a bit daunting.
‘I remember her turning round on the first tee in the final. There were about 50 people there and she went: “Oh my God.” I said: “Just breathe.” It hasn’t put her off. She loves competing in things.’
Sykes too is in her element. ‘I love foursomes. It is one of my favourites. Playing with Kathy works really well. She’s a higher handicap, off 17, so I get a few shots and she’s a very steady player.
‘We’re saving our best games for the Daily Mail,’ she said.
This year’s finals will take place at Marriott St Pierre in October, where the last 16 men's and women's pairs will battle it out to win the prestigious trophies.
Manchester will not be joining Worthing in the fourth round, after Oldham produced one of the shock results, by coming away with a win at the former champions.
Elizabeth Johnson and Bev Mercer beat experienced pairing Elaine Clarke, who was one half of the winning duo back in 2006, and Jennifer Fallows.
The match see-sawed between the two sides, but Oldham took advantage of the shots they were receiving on three of the last four holes to seal the victory.
Johnson said: ‘We were very pleased. We did have a very good game. Irrespective of the result I think if we had lost we would have come away quite happy.’
The pair won Oldham's club knockout championship to qualify for the competition and Johnson said: 'We play well together. We don’t take it too seriously. We’re out to enjoy ourselves.'
Johnson has been having golf lessons at Manchester for several years with professional Brian Connor and joked: ‘I suppose he might have been torn as to who he wanted to win that match.’

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