These are heady days for Rotherham Golf Club. Hot on the heels of Masters champion Danny Willett putting the Yorkshire club on the map, it has literally enjoyed that Winning feeling once again, writes Martin Dempster.
For the second time in four years, the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship fell to Olivia Winning. With a closing 72 at Royal Troon for one-over-over-par 217 aggregate, the 21-year-old finished a shot ahead of another Olivia, Mehaffey, as the Royal County Down player fell agonisingly short in her bid to become the event’s first back-to-back winner since Melissa Reid a decade ago.
Four shots behind Mehaffey at the start of the day, Winning essentially sealed her success by finishing birdie-par-par on the course that stages the Open Championship in July. She said the wait for the final groups to finish had left her “freaking out” before a bogey by Mehaffey at the penultimate hole left her celebrating a win she described as being “special”. Winning added: “This is my favourite tournament, my favourite golf course and I’m super happy. If there is one tournament I’d want to win in a year, it’s this one and to have done it twice now is incredible.”
A closing 77 that included eight bogeys cost Mehaffey the title, but she had the consolation of claiming the team prize for Ireland with Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) along with second place. Another Irish player, Maria Dunne of Skerries, finished third on 219 after a closing 75.