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A chilly start to the final stroke play round of the 2016 Victorian Women’s Country Championship greeted the field as many of the state’s finest women country golfers headed out in pursuit of this year’s Glenelg Cup and Betty Kernot trophies.
The first round yesterday set an exciting scene for today’s play in both events, very close leaderboards forced players to work hard for the win. More overnight rain however prevented carts from playing on either course today, reducing field sizes and eliminating some players in contention of the titles.
At the conclusion of play, Cardinia Beaconhills’ Elizabeth Wong made her move from fifth place to take this year’s Glenelg Cup by the slimmest of margins, a single stroke. Wong contested her final round in the morning field, and maintained her consistent golf, returning a final round of 77 nett from a daily handicap of 28 to go with her opening round of 76 nett to finish with a two round nett total of 153. Second place went to Jan Smith (Hepburn Springs) who posted an improved score for the final round, elevating her into a podium finish. Jan was sitting in 13th position before starting todays round, overtaking Carmel Hughes and Catharina Porter (both Warrnambool) to win the countback for second.
Round 1 leader Helen Pascoe couldn’t hold off a second round charge from Wodonga’s Casey Wild, who carded a sensational one-over par to claim the Betty Kernot trophy and move into the match play stage of the event as the top qualifier. Casey is currently home from college in the U.S and is making the most of her time playing golf in country Victoria, racking up her second win this week. Joanna Flaherty (Warrnambool) also made a move up the leaderboard after almost not starting the tournament late Sunday afternoon. Jo was sitting in 4th position after the first round and moved into second place with a 76 off the stick.
Considering today’s score in the playing conditions, Wild will now start a warm favourite to take this year’s Country Championship when the knockout match play rounds begin tomorrow morning. Her first round opponent is Seymour’s Emily Pell, a well versed match play player, backed by a successful 2016 pennant season.
Second place Flaherty, with a total two round score of 153, will face 7th qualifier Pascoe, in what could be the tightest match in the first knock-out round. Deb Rix (Cobden) will face a tough opponent in Amy Leeson (Buninyong), the youngest player to make the top 8.
Defending Betty Kernot and Country Champion Jessica Pickwick (Kilmore) will take on Alex Hilliard (Cardinia Beaconhills) in the remaining match to determine the 2016 Victorian Women’s Country Champion.