New Evening Express Champion of Champions scratch title winner Julie Henderson believes the new tournament will help raise the profile of golf in the North-east.
Julie pipped Inverurie clubmate Kelly Guthrie by one hole in the final at Newburgh to win the inaugural matchplay competition.
“To win the Evening Express Champion of Champions is amazing,” said Julie, 46. “I’m just delighted to become the first to have my name on the trophy.
“It’s taken two years to get the tournament played but it is a great step forward for ladies golf in the North-east.
“It’s great for all the ladies that the competition is given so much coverage.
“It can only help to attract younger players into the game which can only be good for the future of the sport.
“I’m sure Kelly’s name will be on the trophy one day. She played really well and was unlucky not to take the match into extra holes after her putt for a halve at the last horse-shoed out.”
Export coordinator Kelly, 28, said: “Julie is a brilliant player and her putting was maybe the difference.
“I was so nervous… my heart was pounding and it took me a few holes to settle down.
“Julie won the Inverurie club championship this year but I won the handicap so at least I have the consolation of knowing I will be playing in that competition next year.”
Audit senior manager Julie won the opening two holes but Kelly dug deep to win the three successive holes from the fifth.
Julie squared the match with a birdie three at the eighth and a birdie four at the ninth earned her a one-hole advantage at the turn.
The lead exchanged hands on the back nine with Kelly winning the 12th and 13th but Julie squared the match again at the next.
A par at the 16th looked to have given Julie a vital edge but Kelly birdied the 17th to square the tie again.
The fate of the final was decided at the last after Julie secured a par five but Kelly’s attempt for a halve spun out of the hole from 10ft.
Property, legal and financial law firm Aberdein Considine provided £1,600 of voucher for all four ladies’ and men’s tournaments.
Julie won £200 while Kelly received £100. Semi-finalists Carol Wilson (Murcar Links) and Jan Lyne (Oldmeldrum) earned £50 each.
JULIE HENDERSON’S ROAD TO THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS SCRATCH TITLE:
ROUND ONE: Beat Julie Lees (Westhill) 8&7.
ROUND TWO: Beat Sheena Wood (Aberdeen Ladies) 4&2.
ROUND THREE: Beat Maureen McFarlane (Newburgh) 3&2.
QUARTER-FINAL: Beat Susie MacLeod (Deeside) 1 hole.
SEMI-FINAL: Carol Wilson (Murcar Links) at the 19th.
FINAL: Beat Kelly Guthrie (Inverurie) 1 hole.
Men’s champions crowned without hitting a ball
Stewart McCulloch and Dylan Singer both lost the chance to win the Evening Express Champion of Champion titles in the cruellest of fashions.
Cruden Bay member Stewart was unable to play on the date of the scheduled final due to suffering injury resulting in his opponent Adam Dunton, of Ellon McDonald, being crowned men’s scratch champion.
Westhill member Dylan suffered a similar fate after he had to forfeit the handicap final to Keith’s Michael Laird due to illness.
The North-east District, who administer the four Champion of Champions competitions, made the judgment that both players had to concede the final according to the tournament rules.
North-east District secretary George Young said: “It is extremely unfortunate that the finals have not been played.
“The committee decided the competition rules had to be upheld and in particular No.6 which states ‘Should a player be unable to play his tie by the due date or unable to fulfil any future tie, he must scratch immediately and award the tie to his opponent giving notice of this to his opponent and the secretary of the North-east District.’
“After lengthy discussions, the committee decided they had to be consistent throughout the entire tournament. Quite a few players in similar circumstances had had to withdraw for one reason or another.”
Logie eyes a double after winning handicap title
Emma Logie is aiming to double up after winning the inaugural ladies’ Evening Express Champion of Champions handicap title.
Keith member Emma became the first to lift the new silverware after beating Marie McCallum, of Duff House Royal, by 5&3 in the final at Newburgh.
Now customer assistant Emma, 21, has set her sights on having her named inscribed on the Champion of Champions scratch trophy – won this year by Inverurie’s Julie Henderson – after winning the Keith club championship this season.
“To be the first name on the new Champion of Champions handicap trophy is simply amazing. It’s my biggest success.
“I’m delighted to win but it was also pleasing that I played really well in the process.
“It’s brilliant there are now matchplay competitions for ladies in the area,” added Emma, who playing off two was conceding 15 shots to Marie.
“I won’t be able to defend the handicap title next year as I will be in the scratch tournament – and it would be fantastic if I could add my name on that trophy too.”
Marie, 51, said: “Emma played solidly and deserved to win. I had a great run though and would never have thought of getting this far. I thoroughly enjoyed the competition.”
Hairdresser Marie took a one-hole lead after winning the second but Emma won the next three holes – the third and fifth with birdies.
Marie won the sixth but Emma won the seventh and ninth to be three up and out in an impressive one-over-par 37.
A birdie three at the 10th took Emma back to level par and four up in the match.
The pair exchanged two holes apiece at the next four holes and Emma remained 4up on the 15th tee.
A halve would have been sufficient to seal victory for Emma but she rolled in a 15ft birdie putt to win in champion style.
EMMA LOGIE’S ROAD TO THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS HANDICAP TITLE
ROUND ONE: Bye
ROUND TWO: Beat Anne Cheyne (Kemnay) 2 holes.
ROUND THREE: Beat Hazel Lamb (Portlethen) 5&3.
QUARTER-FINAL: Beat Susan Still (Peterculter) 4&3.
SEMI-FINAL: Beat Olive Robb (Murcar Links) 5&4.
FINAL: Beat Marie McCulloch (Duff House Royal) 5&3.
Late entries are being accepted for the Peterculter Senior Open on Friday on 01224 735245 option 1.