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Ann wins women's Murcia Challenge championship
3rd October 2012

Devon's Ann Hazelwood came from the chasing pack to win the 36-hole individual championship at the England Golf Women's Murcia Challenge in Spain.

The 15-handicapper from Fingle Glen finished on 72 points, one ahead of her club colleague, Michelle Underwood, which prompted cheers of "Go Fingle!" Michelle in turn pipped Cheshire's Belinda Martin on countback after the two tied on 71.

At the start of the final round Ann was two points off the pace, after scoring 35 in the first round of the 36-hole stableford at Hacienda Riquelme.

It put her in the thick of the hunt and yesterday, in hot sunshine at El Valle, she equalled the best score of the day with her impressive 37 points. Her round included two birdies, one of which she achieved with a chip-in.

Ann, who has been playing on the Challenge since it started in 2010, said: "I just can't believe it. I really expected the leaders to come in with better scores.

"I have always enjoyed coming here and I have met lots of lovely friends over the three years, and we meet up with them during the year."

Ann has been playing golf for only six years, after taking up the sport when she was 50. Within two years she and Michelle had reached the national final of the Australian Spoons competition, England Golf's tournament for women golfers with handicaps of 21 and over.

They've continued their successes and just before leaving for Spain they helped their club win two county team events.

El Valle, which has hosted the European Seniors Tour, proved a highly popular venue and the course inspired good scoring. Kent's Sally Seboa set the standard for the day when she came in with 37 points and although her score was matched, it was never passed.

She was quickly followed by Cheshire's Sue Howorth who said: "I loved the course, I felt it was very fair, and I just didn't make many mistakes," she said.

Frances Payne of Essex and Michelle Underwood, playing in the same group, also equalled the day's low score. Frances was left wondering what might have been as she counted the cost of three blobs on the front nine - but she agreed when Michelle said: "We both played well and kept each other going."

However, Ann took pride of place at the top of the leaderboard when she returned her 37 and no-one could topple her. But Belinda Martin, who was one of the overnight leaders and played in the last group, came in with 34 points and finished third.

First round Hacienda Riquelme par 72, second round El Valle par 71
72 Ann Hazelwood (Fingle Glen) 35 37
71 Michelle Underwood (Fingle Glen) 34 37, ocb Belinda Martin (Eaton) 37 34
70 Frances Payne (Upminster) 33 37
69 Sue Howorth (Ringway) 32 37; Sue Heeles (Royal Norwich) 37 32
67 Sally Seboa (Shooters Hill) 30 37, Gay Mulvey (The Leicestershire) 32 35
66 Lynne Perry (Morecambe) 31 35
65 Irene Bowker (Morecambe) 36 29
64 Doreen Nicol (Henlle Park) 34 30
63 Marjorie Griffiths (Ringway) 30 33, Kay Bone (Upminster) 35 28, Sue Evans (Henlle Park) 35 28, Nickie Clarke (Royal Norwich) 36 27
62 Kathy Hunt (The Leicestershire) 30 32, Sheila Petchey (Holme Hall) 31 31
61 Anne Robertson (Bracken Ghyll) 27 34
60 Julie Macadam (West Hove) 34 26
58 Jan Redgment (Royal Norwich) 28 30
56 Kathy Evans (Henlle Park) 27 29, Val Canham (Royal Norwich) 31 25
55 Janet Graham (Abbey Hill) 24 31, Polly Brettle (Elsham) 25 30, Gill James (Ringway) 26 29, Lesley Mifsud (Eaton) 27 28, Diane Gouk (Royal Belfast) 27 28
53 Lynn Edwards (Henlle Park) 28 25, Jill Corbett (West Hove) 36 17
52 Judith Wainwright (Ringway) 22, 30, Sadie Lines (Royal Norwich) 25 27
51 Jenny Davis (West Hove) 22 29, Carolyn Lines (Abbey Hill) 32 19
50 Janet Clare (Royal Norwich) 21 29, Beryl Aubrey (Henlle Park) 29 21
36 Helen James (West Hove) 18 18

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