It's been a tough 18 months' for golf all round. Running the South West Women's Golf Association County Championship held challenges for the Gloucestershire hosts. Bristol & Clifton Golf Club pulled out all the stops and the course was in fine fettle. The clubhouse was carefully sectioned off so each county stayed in their own bubble and all were as safe as possible. Cornwall erred on the side of super safe and did not take part this year, leaving Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire to battle it out. The current holders from 2019, due to Covid, were Gloucestershire and they certainly had some top players to defend their title.
DevonGolf's Women's Elite Squad Manager Sarah Hoff had her hands full organising the Devon team, including 2 juniors. Some of the more senior squad members were unavailable for selection this year making the job even more difficult. Ably assisted by Second Team Manager Vicky Holloway and the experienced Gro Lomas, and always with a smile, Sarah took her team forward to play in the now 3-day competition, reduced from 5 days for the first time.
The team players were Abby Turner (Okehampton), Amanda Burchell (Bigbury), Julia Norman (Warren), Emily Morey (East Devon), Lauren McGinnis (Churston), Lexi Dart (Churston), Gudrun Nolan (East Devon) and Liz Bird (RND).
The first match for Devon was against Somerset. Each match consists of 2 Foursomes and 3 singles games. Devon lost both Foursomes and only Lexi Dart had a convincing 4-3 Singles win. The afternoon pitted Dorset against Devon. Experienced Abby Turner and youngster Gudrun Nolan halved their Foursomes game, as did Liz Bird in the Singles.
Day 2 was an early start for Devon v Gloucestershire. The women knew they had their work cut out and new pairing Emily Morey & Lauren McGinnis won their Foursomes and Lexi Dart won her Singles 2-1. The afternoon was Devon's final match against Wiltshire. Again, youngsters Emily & Lauren won 4-2 and Lexi Dart won her Singles 4-2. Julia Norman also won her Singles game 2 up. And that was Devon's matches over as Cornwall did not play. Day 3 left Somerset v Dorset and Wiltshire v Gloucestershire to decide the winning County to go through to the England Golf Women's County Championships later in the year.
On the final day Devon, all 4 matches played, had 7½ points and we knew we weren't in the mix. Somerset led the way with 10 points, Dorset had 9 points, Gloucestershire 8½ and Wiltshire 5 - each with another match to play. It was tough going for the teams as the rain came down in torrents, causing play to stop for the greens to be cleared. It was a thrilling finish that went right down to the wire with Somerset emerging as worthy winners - the first time they have won the trophy since 1955! All results click here