Tulley and Martindale turn the tables at Trentham

Tulley and Martindale turn the tables at Trentham


Revenge it is said is a dish best served cold. For Maria Tulley and Marie Martindale, the dish that avenged their narrow defeat in last year’s Vivien Saunders Fourball Trophy was served up not so much chilled as waterlogged at Trentham Golf Club.

Torrential rain rendered an already challenging course almost unplayable, not least the 18th green.

Not that that appeared to worry Tulley. Aided by the indefatigable efforts of the club’s squeegee-wielding green keepers who cleared a path between her ball and the hole, she sank (almost literally) an eight-foot birdie putt for a seven-under par round of 66.

That put them level with defending champions Alison Nicholas and Suzanne Dickens who, playing in the following fourball and clearly hampered by the conditions, bogeyed the par-five hole and relinquished their crown.

All of which was in direct contrast to the climax of last year’s tournament at the same venue.

Back then, Nicholas dug deep into her back catalogue of shots that had been responsible for winning the 1997 US Women’s Open and other prestigious events by holing her approach to the 18th for a tournament-winning eagle at, you guessed it, Tulley and Martindale’s expense.

“Ali chipped in for an eagle last year to beat us by a shot,” recalled Martindale. “No-one likes to see anyone three-putt (as they did) so I guess this is a bit of redemption for us.

“In fairness we’re good friends with them and there’s good banter between us all but it’s sweet to be on the winning side this year.”

Reflecting on her tournament-winning putt, Tulley said: “I didn’t realise at the time how important that putt was.

“But overall, we dove-tailed well. If I made par Marie weighed in with a birdie – apart from the first, that is. We bogeyed that but I said at the time some of my best rounds start with a bogey.”

In winning the last event of the WPGA schedule, the pair finished at the head of a strong field that featured the five who will represent Great Britain and Ireland in this month’s Women’s PGA Cup in New Mexico.

In addition, to Nicholas and Dickens, team member Heather MacRae, paired with Heather Stirling, finished level on five-under with team-mate Ali Gray and Catherine Panton-Lewis, while the fifth, Jessica Smart, partnered with Abby Sweetman, were fifth on one-under.

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