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Laura is Thurso champion for fourth year in a row

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Scratch winner Laura Durrand and handicap winner Isla Mackay with their trophies.
Scratch winner Laura Durrand and handicap winner Isla Mackay with their trophies.

Laura Durrand became the Thurso Golf Club ladies' champion for the fourth year in a row after getting the better of her daughter Emma in a close final.

It was the third year in a row the duo had contested the scratch final.

With the windy conditions it was tricky for both, but Laura came off worse on the second when her tee shot was blown into the trees. Emma took full advantage to go one up.

Emma’s second shot on the fourth ricocheted off the bridge and ended up 20 yards backwards on the second fairway. It looked as though Laura would easily win the hole but Emma hit a spectacular shot onto the green for a gimme birdie to put her two up.

They matched each other shot for shot until the 10th. This time it was Emma who felt the force of the wind as it sent her ball off course into the trees, allowing Laura to claw back a hole.

She immediately followed up with a fantastic chip in at the 11th to put them back to all square.

It stayed that way until the 14th where Laura put her tee shot straight on to the green, leaving her an easy birdie putt. Emma also played her tee shot onto the green but left a much longer putt which she didn’t manage to get in, so Laura went one up – leading for the first time in the match.

Again they matched each other shot for shot until the 17th. Both made it on to the green in two.

Emma’s putt was just short, meaning she finished with a four. The pressure was on for Laura but she held her nerve and sunk her putt for a three to win the match.

From left: Finalists Emma Durrand, Laura Durrand, Isla Mackay and Hilary Geddes.
From left: Finalists Emma Durrand, Laura Durrand, Isla Mackay and Hilary Geddes.

The nett championship match was between Isla Mackay and Hilary Geddes, both qualifying for the first time, with Hilary getting 10 shots from Isla.

Both turned up with their "A" game. They halved the first, then both had lovely approach shots to the green on the second, finishing with fives. Hilary was getting a shot, meaning she went one up.

Isla soon got it back level on the fourth after Hilary found the ditch with her second shot. It stayed that way for the next four holes but then a lost ball on the tricky ninth for Isla meant Hilary took the lead again.

It was short-lived, though, as Isla played a stormer down 10 and 11, winning both and putting her one up for the first time.

It continued like that for the next few holes, with Hilary winning the 15th to put her one up. With a stroke on the 16th and 18th the trophy was within sight.

Isla wasn’t giving up without a fight and had saved her best golf for the end. She had a great drive on the 16th and followed it up with a beautiful chip onto the green, leaving an easy putt to bring the match back to all square.

They then halved the 17th, meaning it was all to play for going up the last. A lovely tee shot from Isla was matched by Hilary but the nerves started to get the better of her and she mis-hit her second shot, ending up in the bunker, while Isla kept her cool and put her ball onto the edge of the green.

Hilary got out the bunker nicely and finished with a six (nett five). Isla left her putt short but sank the next one to finish with a four to win the match.

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