Carmen Griffiths emulates Catriona Matthew's Scottish title double feat
Two years after landing the girls’ title at Strathaven, the Aboyne player is now wearing the women’s crown after emerging as a worthy champion at Ladybank.
She beat Megan Docherty, top seed Lorna McClymont’s conqueror in Saturday’s opening round, 7&6 in the semi-finals before producing an equally-impressive performance to beat Rachael Livingstone 6&5 in the final.
“It feels amazing to be Scottish champion,” said Griffiths, who is just back home from college in the US, where she has been the leading player in the 2022/23 campaign for Louisville Cardinals.
“I didn’t expect it, having not played on home soil since last summer, so it’s really nice to get the win. I’ve got here through a lot of hours in the gym and a lot of hours practising. Being able to trust my game was a big thing for me.”
In her quarter-final tie, Griffiths eagled the second extra hole to beat Jen Saxton, last year’s St Rule Trophy winner. “It was the first time I was up in the game. I got a lot of confidence from that and played well after it,” added the new champion.
Matthew, who was at Ladybank to watch the stroke-play qualifying on Friday, won the girls’ title in 1986 at Nairn before adding the women’s crown five years later at Carnoustie
Elsewhere, Scottish duo Grant Forrest and Ewen Ferguson shared eighth spot as Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal landed his second DP World Tour win in quick succession and ninth in total in the KLM Open in the Netherlands
Still riding on the crest of a wave following his victory in the Korean Championship last month, Larrazabal birdied three of the last four holes at Bernardus Golf for a closing 69 and 13-under-par total to win by two shots from compatriot Adrian Otaegui.
“This is right up there with the most famous trophies we have on the DP World Tour,” said Larrazabal, who is the sixth Spaniard to claim it after three-time winner Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Sergio Garcia.
Forrest recorded his fourth top-ten finish of the season after signing off with a 69, one more than Ferguson’s final-day effort, as the pair ended up on seven-under to each pick up just under €40,000. “All in all, happy with the weekend’s work,” declared Forrest while Ferguson said he’d “played really well” in his bogey-free round.
Craig Howie and Euan Walker also ended up alongside each other, sharing ninth in their case, as Italian Matteo Manassero triumphed in the Copenhagen Challenge, returning to winning ways on the tenth anniversary of his BMW PGA Championship victory at Wentworth.
“There are a lot of emotions,” admitted Manassero. “I’ve had a lot of down periods during those ten years, but I’m still here and now I’m holding the trophy, which means I’ve done a lot of good things as well in that period of time.”
Back in the amateur ranks, Blairgowrie teenager Connor Graham birdied the last at Sunningdale New to tie for tenth in the Brabazon Trophy, won by Ireland’s Liam Nolan in a play-off against Englishman Zach Little following his spectacular closing 63.
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