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Dream debut for Devon Duo

Daily Mail
18 Sep 2018

BOVEY TRACEY could not have wished for a better debut in The Daily Mail Foursomes after Sheelah Ayliffe and Helen Frankpitt sensationally snatched a place in the grand finals, writes Cara Sloman.
It is the first year the nine-hole club from Devon have entered the world’s largest golf competition, but that has not stopped the women from making a big impression.
Their reward for edging out Sally Woolmington and Carole Brown at Bridport & West Dorset in a thrilling sudden-death decider is a place at next month’s showpiece at Marriott St Pierre in Chepstow.
The pressure was on the visitors, as Ayliffe and Frankpitt needed to win the 18th to take the match into overtime and with their comeback gaining momentum Frankpitt struck a brilliant chip to within eight inches of the hole which was enough for victory after their opponents missed a vital five foot putt to halve the 19th.
A surprised Ayliffe admitted: ‘Some of the shots were quite tentative. We all made mistakes, because we knew what it meant if we won or lost on that occasion. It could have gone either way.’
It is the first time this successful pairing have teamed up in a tournament and Ayliffe said: ‘Because we’re a small club we only have a small pool of people who are willing to go into competitions and matches. It’s just clicked. We’re both fairly laid back. We’ve enjoyed the golf, playing different clubs and with different ladies.
‘Each round we’d say it is only a game of golf, it doesn’t matter, but of course as you get further and further on in the competition it matters a little bit more each time.’
The last 16 men’s and 16 women’s pairs must win four matches over two days on the championship South Wales course if they are to be crowned champions and the duo are up for the challenge, which will be a new experience for the couple.
Ayliffe said: ‘We’re really, really looking forward to it. I’ve done 27 holes before, but never 36. Helen is the same. That will be interesting. I think we’ll both be tired at the end of it, but it will be good.’

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