After battling round in the wind last week 16 qualifiers returned on Sunday to contest the championship title and 8 the Handicap Quaich. While the wind had totally changed direction was not quite so strong it was still an added challenge.
We saw some wonderful golf, long drives, chips to the pin and long putts not to mention some amazing bunker shots from some of Muirfield’s famous bunkers. Some seem to be relishing the challenge so much that their ties ran the distance or indeed further! In the morning there was a closely fought match that went to the 19th before Mary Lou Watkins lost to Keren Ward. In the afternoon in the Handicap Quaich semi finals Sue Murray beat Barbara Wallace at the 18th and fellow North Berwick friends Jane McMinn and Marie Young went all the way to the 21st before Jane won through.
This morning the wind was still there but so was the sun for a while at least. The Championship semi-finalists went off first. In the first match Kay Lannin played steadily to beat the Spring Meeting winner Stacey Cameron 4&3 while in the other tie Dawn Young went down to Jill McNicoll also 4&3.
The Handicap Quaich was a tough match for both players. Jane was giving 9 shots and after going ahead early on saw her lead disappear as she had to give strokes at 4 consecutive holes resulting in all square at the turn. In the second half Jane again nosed ahead but the game was still live as two tired ladies came down the 18th and a conceded putt gave Jane a two up win.
The Final for the Championship saw Jill start strongly and was 4 up after 5 holes which included a birdie into the wind at the 3rd after a wonderful approach shot. Not to be out done Kay dug in and fought back to win the next 5 holes to square the match at the turn. After that it was nip and tuck all the way. All square once again at the 18th Jill and Kay headed to the 19th then the 20th and finally the 21st where a par putt secured a win for Jill.
We have all enjoyed the experience of playing at Muirfield both on the course and in the Clubhouse. The course as you would expect has been in wonderful condition and the caterers have provided a great selection of food. Both the staff and the members have shown us a great welcome with several including their new captain Peter Arthur coming out to watch the closing stages of the Final.
We gathered in the Captain’s Room after the Final and Peter very kindly made the presentation of the trophies to Jill and Jane and new runner-up brooches, kindly donated by former captain Dawn Young, to Kay and Sue. In turn an engraved decanter was presented by ELLCGA to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers to mark this notable first for both ELLCGA and Muirfield. Peter was delighted to accept it on behalf of the club.
Well done to all who competed in the Championship and Handicap Quaich and especially Jill and Jane our two winners.