Devon: Women’s County Championship

CHEERS MUM: Harry Turner lifts aloft the Devon County Championship won by mum Abby

Comeback queen Abby ends run of near misses

DEVON: Friday October 1st

FORMAT: 27-hole strokeplay/2 rounds of matchplay

After four near misses it was a case of fifth time lucky for Okehampton’s Abby Turner as she secured her second Devon County Championship crown.

In 2017/18 she was the beaten finalist and in 2016/19 lost in the semi-finals but this time around at East Devon she went all the way, seeing off Churston’s Lauren McGinnis 3&2 to claim the trophy.

With dad Ben More on the bag, she twice had to come from behind to progress. In the final she was two down after nine and before that came from four back with eight to play against home club player Emily Jane Morey.

In fact the 40-year-old mum-of-one has become a bit of a specialist in extra-hole drama.

“It’s the fourth year in a row that my semi-final matches have gone to a sudden-death play-off,” laughed Abby.

“But after so many semi-finals and finals it feels fantastic to have won it again after doing so for the first time in 2014.”

Having qualified from the weather-curtailed strokeplay stage in second – fog delayed the start of the 36-hole Gold Medal event – the Okehampton player could not cope with the hot pace set by Morey, who was two under to the turn.

In fact Abby holed a 20-foot par putt at the 10th to prevent herself going five down after 10 but finally won her first hole at 12, birdieing from 15 feet.

The gap was down to two shortly after as Abby two putted well from distance at the tough par three 13th while her opponent failed to get up and down after just missing the green.

With two holes to go it would be back to all square.

After halving the 14th with pars, the East Devon player found bunker trouble at 15 and and then a gorse bush at the next with pars doing the job for her rival.

With the last two holes halved, both players struggled tee to green at the 19th but the Okehampton ace chipped to eight feet and holed a fast-breaking putt to reach the final.

There she met top seed McGinnis, who had finished three shots clear in the strokeplay.

And the Churston golfer kept her foot down as she reached the turn two up.

However with the wind strengthening, so did her playing partner with par golf becoming the order of the day.

The eventual champion won 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15 with pars and McGinnis also struggled at the 16th, giving her opponent two putts from four feet for the victory.

And like any good golfer, she utilised both to the delight of her family with husband Simon and son Harry having followed her for the final nine holes.

Leading Gold Medal scores (par 74)*
1) Lauren McGinnis (Churston) 76, 40, 116 (+5)**
2) Abigail Turner (Okehampton) 80, 39, 119 (+8)**
3) Emily Jane Morey (East Devon) 80, 39, 119 (+8)**
4) Julia Norman (The Warren) 77, 45, 122 (+11)**
5) Stacey Ford (Downes Crediton) 84, 41, 125 (+14)
6) Carys Morris (Portmore) 84, 42, 126 (+15)
7) Helen Chivers (East Devon) 80, 47, 127 (+16)
8) Rebekah Nicholls (Stover) 83, 48, 131 (+20)
* The second round was curtailed due to a fog-delayed start
** Qualified for the County Championship
Matchplay scores – Semi-final
McGinnis beat Norman 5&3
Turner beat Morey 19th
Final: Turner beat McGinnis 3&2