Great Britain and Ireland’s bid for victory ends in heartbreak

Great Britain and Ireland’s bid for victory ends in heartbreak

30/10/2022

Great Britain and Ireland captain Sarah Bennett’s assessment of how the decisive round of the Women’s PGA Cup could unfold proved all too accurate as her team’s spirited bid to win the tournament ended in heartbreak.  

Looking ahead to the third and final round at Twin Warriors Golf Club in New Mexico, she said: “The competition’s format means things can change rapidly. Two-shot swings are common-place, so anything is possible.”

Which, as the last nine holes of the contest were negotiated by the three leading contenders, is exactly what unfolded.

Not, however, in Great Britain and Ireland’s favour as the sporting cliché of a contest not being over until an amply proportioned lady sings proved a disappointing truism.

Having gone into the last round two shots adrift of the USA and one behind Canada, Great Britain and Ireland had not only erased the deficit at the turn but were three-shots clear of the former and eight ahead of the latter.

Scotland’s Heather MacRae, on four-under, was leading the charge while Jess Smart, Suzanne Dickens and Ali Gray weighed in with respective totals of two-under, one under and level par.

Nine holes later, a collective loss of momentum coupled with the USA holding their nerve and justifying their billing as tournament favourites plus Canada rediscovering their mojo on the back nine, meant Bennett’s quintet had to settle for third place.

Posting a final score of five-over for the tournament, they finished four shots adrift of Canada and six behind the USA, all of which replicated the result of the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup in 2019. In terms of position, that is.

The event in Austin, Texas, three years ago effectively became a domestic skirmish between the USA and Canada with Great Britain and Ireland well out of the reckoning.

Not so, this time thanks to a team performance in which each member contributed and, in MacRae, who completed the 54-holes in four-under, twice posting the joint-best round of the event, they had the player of the tournament.

“The Great Britain and Ireland team have made huge strides and contributed to the event and women’s golf in a truly positive way,” Bennett said.

"It’s been an unbelievable week and they performed brilliantly. I am proud to have been their captain.”

Great Britain and Ireland: Sarah Bennett (captain), Suzanne Dickens, Ali Gary, Heather MacRae, Alison Nicholas MBE, Jess Smart.

Team scores: USA -1, Canada +1; Great Britain and Ireland +5; Australia +29; Sweden +41; South Africa +96

CLICK HERE for a full list of individual scores

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