Claire Howells proved that persistence pays off as she was finally crowned Warwickshire Ladies’ County Golf champion – after 15 years of trying.
In a dramatic finale to the championship, Howells, of Moor Hall Golf Club, won with her very last putt to beat Coventy GC’s Lisa Barton.
She was seen to shed a few tears on the 18th green, remembering that this is the 15th time she has played in the championship before even getting into the final.
The event, at Shirley Golf Club, saw some of the best lady golfers in the county play in an initial 36-hole medal event on Wednesday after which the top 16 scores qualified to go into the seeded draw knockout competition, to be played over Thursday and Friday morning and afternoons.
The best laid plans were put in jeopardy however when, after the first round had been completed on Thursday morning, the heavens opened and by 2.30pm the course was under water.
After head greenkeeper Andy Smith said no further play would be possible, the decision made between county officials and the Shirley captains was that the quarter-finals and semi-finals would now be played on Friday with the final to take place on the Saturday morning, with the prize presentation to take place after play.
Friday morning arrived and Smith and his staff had started work early and had done a fantastic job in getting the course back in play.
The final on Saturday morning was played in superb weather with both players, who are also very good friends, playing in a very competitive but sporting manner.
On the last putt of the 18 holes (it might have had to continue down the 19th) after a very tight match, Howells made a par putt to Barton’s bogey to clinch the title.
ROLL OF HONOUR: Championship Cup: Claire Howells (Moor Hall GC).
Runner-up: Lisa Barton (Coventry GC)
Losing semi-finalists: Charlotte Dalton (Kings Norton GC – affiliated) and Rachel Rusted (Nuneaton GC)
Very Clayton Trophy (best gross aggregate score in qualifying rounds): Charlotte Dalton (Kings Norton GC) 156 Gross
Runner-Up: Katrina Gani (Shirley GC) 160 Gross
Silver Division Medal (best net score in round one qualifying with addition of further players in silver division): Tracy Atkin (Leamington & County GC).
Runner-up: Marilyn Fielding (Copt Heath GC).