Lochend Ladies Championship 2005
Anticipation was high as the top two players went head to head in today's final. Eileen Gillespie, reigning Champion, going for three-in-a-row titles, taking on Linda Bain, already a three time's winner (only Evelyn McCowan has won more than three titles).
Eileen dominated the early stages of this match as Linda couldn't quite hit top form to start with, wayward drives and miscaluated irons were not indicative of the golf Linda has been playing recently, she didn't appear to be swinging as comfortably as normal. Thankfully Linda did sink a couple of excellent saving putts during this tough spell, had she not then the score might have been even worse than three down after seven holes. To be fair Eileen was driving huge (as she continued to do all day) and at this point could afford to be conservative with her approach shots. However, at the 8th hole there was the first indication that there was a match on. Eileen, three-up and cruising, unleashed one of her huge drives over the ridge and middle of the fairway, then for the first time in the match Linda hit a sweet drive which ended up side by side with that of the Champion's. Although the hole was eventually halved, it proved to be just the inspiration that Linda was so badly looking for, as she went on with renewed confidence, swinging more freely and accurately to turn the match round, winning the next three holes to get back to all square after the 11th. By now it was game on and to watch this match unfold, when both players are on song was fascinating, after Eileen won the 12th it was stroke for stroke being matched as hole after hole was halved, Eileen had a real moment of good fortune at the 14th when she had a flyer out the rough which looked like it was gonna miss the green completely, then it smacked into the flag and dropped down to thee feet from the hole for another saving half, its those little things that make a huge difference in such a match that by now was on a knife edge, and more was to follow....with holes still being halved for Eileen to keep the slender one-up lead, Linda appeared odds on to take the 17th hole when Eileen scrambled a superb up-and down to half the hole and keep the lead going down the 18th. And it proved to be decisive as Eileen closed out the match for her third Championship in a row and another chance at the Champion Of Champion's next year.
In the Bronze Championship Final Violet Paterson staged another one of those remarkable comebacks to take the title.
Joan appeared to be cruising at three up with three to play but Violet who lost in the final last year, kept her head and went for broke. Joan had her chances but appeared to lose control at the vital moment as Violet remained steady and took the match at the first extra hole. Another exciting finale to the championship week.
Wednesday 10th August
The big guns powered their way into the Championship Final tonight, and how.
Eileen Gillespie and Linda Bain who between them have won the last three championships, both showed some clinical finishing to see off the challenges from Pat Meikle and Jaci Moriarty who both fell short of the excellent form they have both enjoyed recently.
The final is really too close to call. Eileen and Linda both secured their places in the final with emphatic wins, both appear to be playing at the top of their game, there's nothing to chose between their qualifying scores so if they both play to potential it'll be a real cracker. Championship Draw in full
Likewise, the Bronze section is also dominated by two players, as Violet Paterson and Joan Gray will play in Saturday's final, having both had convincing wins tonight against Margaret Richards and Thelma Dey respectively. Bronze Championship Draw in full
Two mouthwatering finals, miss it at your peril, see you all on Saturday.
Monday 8th August
Only one quarter final match tonight as Kath Leith had to pull out due to injury after being struck on the head by a golf ball at Gullane last week.. Thankfully she is recovering well and should be back playing soon. As a result Jaci Moriarty moves into the semi final to play Linda Bain.
And so to tonight's match-up, the annual Pat Meikle v Coleen Derighetti fixture and in terms of good golf this was definitely one of our best yet.
Suffering no after effects from the Aberfeldy weekend both players raised their game on the night and both played better than their handicaps, but it was Pat who had the edge in an outward half full of excellent shot-making and low scoring, epitomized by the 6th hole when both players hit the green about 10 feet either side of the pin, Coleen narrowly missed the putt and Pat bagged her putt for a two. Also the 9th when Pat carded an excellent four to be 3 up at the turn. However, by the time Coleen nailed a putt for a three at the 15th it was back to one up for Pat and game on again.
Pat's incredible slam-dunk of putt from distance at the 16th kept her one up as did a superb up and down at the 17th from over the greenside bunker on right (while Coleen had been sitting pretty on the green and could only two putt for the half). Then on the 18th, a poor drive from Coleen followed by a straight-up-the-middle drive from Pat it looked like game over. However by the time we were on the green (both about 7 feet away) in three, the outcome was still not a certainty, Pat's putt was just short and gimmed but Coleen's attempt just slipped by for Pat to take the one-up victory in a very close and highly enjoyable match.
I cannot be disappointed at having played one of my best ever games, having four three's on the card is something I've never done before so I did give it my best shot in taking the match to the final putt on the final green. I just came up against Pat who, on the night, also played out of her skin but holed important putts and made up and down saves at just the right times. Pat also gave a generous gimme for a half at the 14th, which, in the middle of such a close and competitive match, was a very sporting gesture. The match was such that most holes had to be won (and quite often with pars and birdies).
If Pat can recreate this form on Wednesday night then Reigning Champ Eileen Gillespie might be given a tough test. Championship Draw in full
Two Bronze Championship quarter final ties were played
tonight, Thelma Dey beat Patsy Miller 3 & 1 and the Margaret Richards/Nicola
Moriarty tie also finished at the 17th when Margaret sunk the important putt for
a 2 & 1 victory. Bronze Championship Draw
Please note Wednesday's ties are due off as follows (17:31) Eileen Gillespie V Pat Meikle (17:38) Linda Bain V Jaci Moriarty (17:45) Joan Gray V Thelma Dey (17:52) Violet Paterson V Margaret Richards. Hope to see you all there.