Northern Veteran Ladies Championship

Cath Rawthore collects the winners trophy from Northern Veteran Ladies captain Barbara Laird

A head-less club and bad weather can’t halt Cath

NORTH: Friday, May 21st

A broken three wood at a critical stage of Cath Rawthore’s semi-final could not derail her charge towards her first Northern Veteran Ladies Championship at Bishop Auckland GC.

The Cheshire player was teeing off A/S at 17 in her last-four battle with county team-mate Sara Spencer (Heswall) when the head of her club flew off in the direction of the ball.

However the distraction failed to upset the Sale GC player’s concentration as she halved the hole and also the last to take the tie into a sudden death play-off which ended at the first extra hole as Sara could not get up and down out of the wet rough.

The weather continued to deteriorate in the title decider and the finalists – Cath took on Yorkshire’s Karen Jobling – were accompanied by two greens staff but the Cheshire golfer coped with the awful conditions much better and ran out the 6&5 winner.

And her emergency three wood, which was lent to her by the other losing semi-finalist Caroline Berry (Bromborough), performed superbly.

“Well I now know which 3 wood I will be buying as a replacement,” said Cath, who only started playing the game in her mid 30s. “I used Caroline’s six or seven times and it went really well.”

The eventual champion put in a superbly consistent effort in terrible conditions and won the first three holes with pars. By halfway the gap was four and a birdie at the 11th extended her lead still further. A par at the next was enough to put her 6up and the 13th was halved to give Cath a title which has strangely eluded her. She won the British Seniors at Royal Dornoch in 2014, the English Seniors strokeplay in the same year and then the English Matchplay two years later.

Cath added: “I have got to semi-finals before but never managed to take the final steps but this time I played very well all week.”

The plus one handicapper led qualifying with a one over par 74 – that also gave her the Best Gross Salver – and went on to enjoy emphatic victories in the first two knock-out rounds before her tight last-four battle.

The Cheshire trio of Cath, Caroline and Sara also ensured their county took the Gross Team Shield while the individual Best Nett Salver went to Cumbria’s Nicola Tebbutt (76-4-72)

Matchplay qualifiers (par 73)
1) Cath Rawthore (-1, Sale) 74 – Best Gross Salver
2) Karen Jobling (1, Richmond (Yorks)) 75
3) Caroline Berry (1, Bromborough) 76
4) Sara Spencer (1, Heswall) 76
5) Nicola Tebbutt (4, Carlisle) 76
6) Maureen Richmond (2, Royal Liverpool) 78
7) Brenda Ewbank (2, Appleby) 79
8) Betty Sworowski (1, Wakefield) 80
9) Trudy Hubbard (6, Ulverston) 80
10) Carol Simpson (2, Malton&Norton) 80
11) Sharon Eales (2, Royal Birkdale) 80
12) Helen Cooper (6, Arcot Hall) 80
13) Janette McWhirter (4, Appleby) 81
14) Claire Brown (4, Close House) 81
15) Clare MacLeod (7, Harwood) 81
16) Rosie Waller (5, Kendal) 82
Matchplay – Last 16
– Cath Rawthore beat Rosie Waller 6&5
– Betty Sworowski beat Trudi Hubbard 21st hole
– Sara Spencer beat Janette McWhirter 2&1
– Nicola Tebbutt beat Helen Cooper 2&1
– Karen Jobling beat Claire Macleod 4&2
– Brenda Ewbank beat Carol Simpson 4&2
– Caroline Berry beat Claire Brown 2&1
– Sharon Eales beat Maureen Richmond 1 hole
Quarter-finals
Rawthore beat Sworowski 7&5
Spencer beat Tebbutt 4&2
Jobling beat Ewbank 20th hole
Berry beat Eales 6&5
Semi-finals
Rawthore beat Spencer 19th hole
Jobling beat Berry 2&1
Final
Rawthore beat Jobling 6&5