Louise Kenney tames wind and rain to make it third time lucky in final

FROM the second she arrived at the course and saw her "lucky spot" in the car park was free, Louise Kenney started to believe that, after two defeats in the final, she could finally make that all-important leap and go one better in the Scottish Women's Championship.

"I felt like it was my time today," said the 28-year-old Fifer after beating Kilmacolm's Eilidh Briggs by 4 and 3 in a title showdown that was played in the worst conditions of the week on the Kintyre Peninsula, as heavy rain laced the buffeting winds.

It was so bad on the back nine that Kenney, a reasonably long hitter, took an 8-iron for a shot from 90 yards at one hole yet still came up a fair bit short of the green. Kenney, who spent four years at Iowa State University, is a primary school teacher in North Queensferry and has no plans at present to have a crack at the Ladies European Tour. "Maybe in a couple of years but I'm happy what I'm doing at the moment," added the new champion.

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Her coach and boyfriend, Spencer Henderson, left for Turkey last year to become that country's national coach, but he still played a part in a title success that has put Kenney in good spirits ahead of both the St Rule Trophy, at St Andrews, and the British Women's Championship, at Royal Portrush.

"I was out playing and practising in Turkey during the Easter holidays and Spencer came down to Antalya for the week," she said. "That was perfect timing ahead of the new season while I've also been on the phone to him a few times this week for the odd bit of advice." For Briggs, falling at the final hurdle proved a tearful experience but the sixth-year pupil at Gryffe High School in Houston displayed a real touch of class to compose herself as she reflected on a splendid week.

"I'm gutted at the moment but to get to the final I managed to beat three former champions (Martine Pow, Kelsey MacDonald and Megan Briggs)," said the Renfrewshire women's champion.

Later this year she's off to Stirling University, where she will work with performance director Dean Robertson.