Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AYRSHIRE LADIES COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP - Malcolm ends 23 year wait for hat trick of county titles

Catherine Malcolm (Prestwick St Cuthbert) ended a 23 year wait to record a hat trick of Ayrshire Ladies County tiles on Wednesday afternoon, 15th April, at Western gailes when she defeated defending champion Linzi Allan (West Kilbride) at the 21st hole of the 2015 final.
2015 ALCGA County Champion
Catherine Malcolm

Malcolm, who won the title in 1990 and 1992 whilst playing under her maiden name of Gibson, reached her ninth final of the championship by beating leading qualifier Emma Hale (Troon Ladies) in the morning semi finals to secure her first appearance in the final match since a last hole defeat at Troon Portland in 2003.

In the final it was the defending champion Linzi Allan who took the early initiative and forged a two hole at one point, though Catherine Malcolm  fought back and by the time the players had reached the sixteenth hole the match was all square.

Malcolm edged into the lead with a birdie three at the sixteenth and had the opportunity to finish the match at the seventeenth but saw her putt to win the hole drift just left of the hole.

At the final hole Malcolm could only make a bogey five and Allan bravely holed from six feet to secure a winning par and take the match to extra holes.

With both players finding the green at the first extra hole in two, pars by both players took the tie on to the twentieth hole.

At the 20th, the par five second hole on the course, Allan found the fairway safely from the tee whilst Malcolm hit an uncharacteristic topped tee shot into thick heather, which prompted her to return to the tee to play three, from where she hit an excellent tee shot to the centre of the fairway.

With Allan short of the green in two, Malcolm played an excellent wood which seemed unlucky to run just through the green into light rough for four.

Allan played a nice approach to the green to around 20 feet in three and the match looked all but over in her favour.

Malcolm though had other ideas and in a scene reminiscent of the Trevino and Jacklin Open Championship encounter at Muirfield in 1972, Malcolm saw her chip, from about 15 yards, run down the green and into the hole for an unlikely par five.

Allan made a brave effort for her birdie but the ball remained above the hole and the players proceeded to the 21st hole.

At the 21st, which proved to be the final hole of the match, both players had good tee shots but Allan hit her approach heavy and it came up short of the green whilst malcolm found the safety of the putting surface in two. On the green in three but putting first, Allan made a good attempt for her par but saw the ball run past the hole, leaving Malcolm with two putts for the hole and the 2015 title. making no mistake, Malcolm rolled her first putt up close to the hole, prompting Allan to concede a par and the title to the 2015 winner Catherine Malcolm.

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