It was more of a grey, gloomy Eeyore sort of day for the Junior & Intermediate Championships at Basingstoke. However, while the sun didn’t make an appearance, the future of ladies’ golf in Hampshire definitely looks bright.
Seventeen girls and two intermediates from across the county competed at the Junior & Intermediate Championships and Douglas Cup. After use of the range and other short game and putting facilities to warm up, it was time to tee it up on the 1st. A huge thanks to Basingstoke Club President, Alan Holloway for seeing all the girls safely on their way.
Basingstoke proved to be an excellent test across both the 18-hole Douglas Cup and 36-hole championship events. At the half way stage we all enjoyed a light lunch (the chips I’m reliably informed were particularly good) and took the opportunity to present the trophy to the winner of this year’s Douglas Cup. In her first Hampshire competition, Niamh Magee (Romsey) put in a confident performance scoring a magnificent 42 stableford points. It was wonderful to see Niamh and fellow competitor Hatty Richardson (Corhampton) chatting away out on the course and some excellent golf was played by these two emerging talents. I wouldn’t be surprised either of them competing in the 36-hole championship event next year!
After a short interlude it was time to get back out on the course for round two. With plenty of girls shooting great scores in the morning round, there was everything to play for in both the scratch and handicap categories. It’s always such a priviledge to watch these girls in action. Out on the course, the drives were splitting the fairways and the putts were dropping for plenty of players.
In the Intermediate Championship, only one shot separated Tammy Andrews (Corhampton) and immediate past Junior Captain Izzy Lawson (North Hants) after 18-holes. The exciting game of cat and mouse continued into the afternoon round and after 36-holes there was nothing separating these two great golfers…so on they went to play off holes.
The skies that threatened for most of the day finally opened as the final group approached the sixteenth green and heavy rain persisted for the final few holes. Back in the club house, all the competitors gathered eager to find out who the winners of this year’s event would be.
Competitions Director Noan Nicol worked with speed and diligence to get us the answer to that question and very soon it was time for the prize giving.
After one extra play off hole and 37 holes in total, it was last year’s runner up, Tammy Andrews who emerged victorious in the Intermediate Championship. In the nett competition, the runner up with a nett score of 141 was Freya Watts (Boundary Lakes) and the winner with a superb nett score of 140 was Junior Captain, Lily Walker (North Hants).
In the scratch competition, 3rd place was awarded to Brooke Macarthur (Stoneham) who carded an aggregate gross score of 160 and Hannah Hellyer (Hayling) secured the runner up spot with 156 gross.
All that remained was to announce our 2021 Junior County Champion. For a third consecutive year, that title was retained by Gemma Burgess (North Hants) with an impressive score of 149. Many congratulations Gemma on this fantastic achievement. Over the three year period at Lee on the Solent, Bramshaw and now Basingstoke you have shown great tenacity and focus to secure each of these victories. A massive well done from all of us in Hampshire!
A sincere thank you to Basingstoke and their members for hosting Hampshire at this event. We were very grateful to you for accommodating us and delighted that we had the opportunity to play this prestigious event at your new home. As always, we were all made to feel extremely welcome and really enjoyed our day. Thank you once again to Alan and Bev Holloway, keeping it in the family and supporting with registration and starting for both rounds.
My thanks also go to Jill, Sarah, Judy and Kate for their support during the day, to Noan and Pauline for their assistance with entries, the competition set up and results processing. Last but not least a huge thank you to Di and Carron for spending the whole day out on the course, assisting with rules queries and helping to maintain pace of play. On behalf of all the girls, thank you, these events really wouldn’t be possible without your time and dedication.