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Record field for Women's Senior Handicap Foursomes


eastmond Suzette Eastmond and Anne Moir, both Omaha Golf Club members, were announced as the 2013 winners of the 42nd New Zealand Women's Senior Handicap Foursomes played at Mangawhai Golf Club in late November.

They were the winning pair in the championship division, playing for the NZLGU Salver, out of a record field of 160 ladies (80 pairs) competing in the four-day event.

Eastmond and Moir were seeded seventh after Monday’s net qualifying round and faced off first against Nelson’s Maree West and Shirley Otton, which they won on the 18th, 2 up. They then faced Mangawhai locals Lesley Tolhopf and Barbara Chitty, winning 7/6 in an easier game, only to take on another local pairing Diane Dunlop and Claudia Dowson in the semi final. They secured this match on the 15th, winning 4/3 but had a long wait for their final against the Pupuke pairing of Jan Aickin and Mary Catherwood who went to the 20th hole to win their semi against Mangawhai pair Sharyn McLean and Christine Bygrave.

The 20th hole, in this semi-final, turned out to be a dramatic finish with Aickin and Catherwood playing 3 off the tee, when their first tee shot was lost in the direction of hazard and trees but which no-one saw land, and therefore had to take a penalty as a lost ball.

McLean and Bygrave then got stuck in the notorious Mangawhai sandy wasteland areas, both pairs taking five shots to reach the green. Both two-putted but with a shot for Aickin and Catherwood, they secured the win. McLean and Bygrave had been the top qualifiers with a net round of 64.

In receiving the NZLGU Salver, Eastmond acknowledged the competitive players and the way the event was played.

“It is an inspiration playing against such talented and competitive women in this foursomes format. Anne and I are delighted with the win.”

Other prizewinners in division one included Otton and West claiming the Plate, with flights being awarded to Pullman and Ferguson along with Judith Simpson and Diane Taylor, both from Pupuke GC.

The tournament was first played in 1973 and was originally targeted at women aged 55 plus.

With over 170 entries received, tournament director Denise Langdon, of PaR nz Golfing Holidays on behalf of New Zealand Golf, instigated a 5th division to allow 160 players to compete.

“It is a great testament to the spirit of this tournament and the fact that many senior women still want to compete for a national title,” she said.

Players were aged from 50 to 82 with course handicaps ranging from 7 to 44. Thirty-four clubs were represented with players traveling from Christchurch to the Bay of Islands.

TOP PAIR: Suzette Eastmond (left) and Anne Moir had to beat some top talent to win the NZ senior women’s event.

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