05 Jun 19
Sarah Smith foiled Maria Tulley’s bid to follow up her selection for the Great Britain and Ireland Women’s PGA Cup team with a victory by winning the third Women's PGA One-Day Series event of the season.
Tulley went into the event at the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club, Essex, within 24 hours of being named in the five-strong line-up to contest the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup in Austin, Texas, in late October.
Four qualified for the team as a result of their performances in this and last year’s Titleist and FootJoy Women’s Professional Championships while Tulley completed the line-up as the captain’s pick.
And the 32-year-old from Eastbourne Downs Golf Club, Sussex, showed why on the front nine at Three Rivers.
Overcoming conditions made difficult by torrential rain that kept the array of water features on the course topped-up, she was one-under-par at the turn.
Sarah Attwood of Bury St Edmunds Golf Club was also one-under at that stage while Smith was a shot behind them on level par.
Attwood lost momentum on the back nine, however, eventually signing for 80.
Meanwhile, a lost ball on the par-three 15th which resulted in a double bogey and a bogey at the 18th saw Tulley (above) sign for a two-over par round of 76 to finish second.
Smith, by contrast, enjoyed a trouble-free passage home. A birdie at the 10th was cancelled out by a bogey on 12 and another bogey at the 16th resulted in her posting a one-over-par round of 75 to claim the £300 first prize.
In addition to Tulley, Smith also finished ahead of two other members of the Women’s PGA Cup team – Ali Gray and Suzanne Dickens, as well as Ladies European Tour member Sian Evans who was third.
Smith, who is attached to Saffron Walden Golf Club, was one of the more local competitors in the event.
Others made lengthy and time-consuming journeys to take part, not least Hannah Bowen (Swansea Bay Golf Club) plus Eugenie Knight and Gemma Marsland from Cornish clubs St Austell and Trevose respectively.
The victory also earned Smith 10 order of merit points and puts her level on that number with Gray, half a point behind Dickens and one adrift of Marie Martindale.