Sunday, August 13, 2023

AYRSHIRE WOMEN'S CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS TROPHY - Debbie Watt wins inaugural county title

Debbie Watt (Ayr Belleisle Ladies) is the inaugural winner of the Ayrshire Women's Champion of Champions title and trophy following victory in the final at Royal Troon, on the evening of Friday the 11th of August, over Audrey Thompson (Loudoun).

On a breezy evening on the old course at Troon, Debbie had a 6&5 win over Audrey, who herself enjoyed success earlier in the year when she won the inaugural Ayrshire Women's Strokeplay Championship.

After halving the first hole, Debbie Watt played a fine approach to the second while Audrey Thompson found a greenside bunker and the hole was conceded to Watt after Thompson struggled to extricate her ball from the hazard. A par at the third was good enough for Debbie Watt to increase her lead to two and after further halved holes at the 4th and 5th, she further extended her advantage to four holes by winning both the 6th and 7th where she played an excellent recovery from short left and hold her winning putt at the 6th, and then took full advantage of  Audrey Thompson's three putt at the 7th to win the hole.

Audrey Thompson pulled a hole back at The Postage Stamp, finding the green from the tee and being conceded the hole after Debbie Watt found trouble from the tee, and Thompson further reduced the deficit to two holes at the turn, winning the 9th with a four after an excellent recovery chip from a tricky lie short left of the green.

As the breeze stiffened, the players turned for home, playing generally into the wind from the turn, and it was here that Debbie Watt halted Audrey Thompson's comeback and secured the title.

Audrey Thompson took three to get down from the left, past the pin, at the 10th while Debbie Watt secured her par four with two shots from short left of the green and a three hole advantage was restored for Watt.  

A regulation par four at the 11th extended watt's lead to four holes and when Audrey Thompson too three from the back of the 12th green Debbie Watt's lead was extended to five holes.

At the 13th hole, which proved to be the last in the contest, Audrey Thompson found trouble to the left of the green with her approach which left Debbie Watt needing to get down in three putts from 25 feet to take the title. A first putt to 2 feet was enough to secure a 6&5 win and the inaugural Ayrshire Women's Champion of Champions title for Debbie Watt.

At the conclusion of the three finals played at Royal Troon on Friday evening, Ayrshire Golf Association President Scott Gilchrist presented vouchers to both finalists and handed over the Ayrshire Women's Champion of Champions Golf Trophy, and commemorative medal, to the first winner, Debbie Watt.

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