Well, the weathermen once again got it wrong but the golfers certainly got it right! Not a drop of rain was felt at Newbattle Golf Course today as the semi-finals and the finals of the Midlothian Championships were held. Dry, sunny but windy conditions were on the cards as were lots of pars and birdies. The players did not let the spectators down in their bid to see some great golf.

The first semi-final saw, junior member, Gabrielle Macdonald (Craigielaw) up against Karen Marshall (Baberton). After a tense, close match, Gabrielle found herself 1 up standing on the 18th tee. A good drive and an excellent approach to the green put Karen under pressure. She pulled her approach shot to the green and after a chip and a putt, conceded the hole, and the match to Gabrielle. Another junior featured in the second semi-final, as Rachael Watton took on Claire Hargan, a Mortonhall double act. Rachael was not quite firing on all cylinders as Claire claimed the tie by a 4 and 3 victory. It is claimed that Claire has been told to watch out in the Club Championship where revenge will be being sought! In the B-Championship, a very friendly match ensued between Helen Warnock (Harburn) and Pam Townsend (Murrayfield). Having started out very well, Pam struggled towards the end, allowing Helen to take the match 2&1. In the other semi-final, junior member, Hannah Scott (Broomieknowe) met defending Champion Susan Dalrymple (Craigielaw). Susan was pleased with the way she had played but unfortunately Hannah was too strong an opponent and came through 4&2. And so the afternoon final pairings were decided, Gabrielle Macdoanld would play Claire Hargan, while Hannah Scott would do battle with Helen Warnock in the B-section.
Gabrielle got off to a great start, going 3 up after 4 holes and being 1 under par. Claire then came back to win the following 5 holes with a conceded eagle, 3 birides and a par to be 2 up at the turn. The spectators were loving it and all the sideline chat that Kirsten Blackwood had to offer was put on hold while the golf was concentrated on! The back nine brought more of the same. A rare half was recorded at the 10th and Gabrielle won the 11th, only for Claire to reply with 2 more birides. A birdie by Gabrielle at the 14th brought Claire back to 2 up but unfotunately Gabrielle’s second shot at the 15th found the bunker while Claire hit a great second shot on to the green. Coming out of the bunker and leaving herself too much of a putt to hole, Gabrielle walked onto the 16th tee 3 down. Claire found herself only needing a half on the 16th which she found to claim the match by a 3&2 victory.

In case the excitement of the main Championship did not meet the requirements of the spectators, the B-Championship was following on behind. Hannah immediately went 1 up after the opening hole and was 3 up after 4 and 4 up after 10, and was only 3 over par standing on the 12th tee. But Helen was not prepared to give up easily and battled away to square the match on the 15th. On the 16th, Hannah hit her second to the right of the green while Helen was in the left hand, greenside bunker in 3. Helen hit out onto the green and Hannah, playing the sensible shot, overshot the green onto the fringe. She then played a wonderful chip, forcing Helen to have to sink her putt for the half. Unfortunately the ball did not drop and Hannah regained her lead. Despite around 20 people searching on the 17th, Helen’s tee shot was lost. She played another ball but after a great tee shot and approach to the green by Hannah, the hole was conceded and Hannah came out the winner by 2&1.

Our thanks must go to Newbattle Golf Club for allowing us to hold our Championship on their course and for the great condition of the course. Thanks also to our two referees, Gillian Kirkwood and Mary Richardson and to all the participants for the great displays of golf and wonderful matches that ensued over the last week.

Finally, many congratulations to our 2009 Champions, Claire Hargan and Hannah Scott, pictured above with the runners up, Helen Warnock and Gabrielle Macdonald and with Midlothian president, Margaret Rodgers.
Click HERE to view photos on Mary’s Picasa site
Championship semi-finals and finals