Slater quick to double up as she claims English match play title
LINDRICK’S Nicola Slater had shed half of a six-hole advantage in the English women’s open match play championship final before slamming the door firmly shut on Roehampton’s Sammy Fuller with a 35ft birdie putt.
It gave the Yorkshire county player a 3&2 victory in the event’s climax at Kirby Muxloe – and the acquisition of a second trophy in the space of five playing days.
England Golf girls’ squad member Slater had shot 65 69 for a five-shot victory in the Bridget Jackson Bowl at Handsworth, near Birmingham, before heading to Leicestershire for the English match play championship.
“I went into it expecting to do well, and I like match play,” said the 18-year-old. “I enjoy both match play and stroke play, but I feel you can be a bit more competitive in match play.”
This said, she admits to being something of slow starter in NICOLA SLATER: match play, as was in evidence in her semi-final when she trailed Emily Brennan (Trentham) by two holes at the turn before winning – but not in the final when she was four up at the halfway stage and six up with six to play.
Trailing early on appeals, it seems, to her sense of the dramatic. “Generally in match play I tend to be down at the start,” she reflected. “I don’t know why it is although I quite like the comeback idea. I’m quite good at battling from behind.”
Fuller showed a similar penchant for drama, first by denying Slater a 7&6 win with a sand save at 12 and then by winning the following three holes.
But Slater’s birdie two at the par-3 16th ended the fightback and brought her ninth round in six days – two of them in practice – to a close.
As she enjoyed a day’s rest from golf yesterday she revealed that she did not feel as tired as she had after helping Yorkshire ladies – the Green Army – win a third consecutive Northern Counties Match Week title at Huddersfield last month.
“I don’t feel particularly tired, to be fair,” she commented.
“I felt more tired after Counties Week than I am now. Kirby Muxloe is quite an easy walking course, it’s not like Huddersfield.”
Was crowned English women’s open match play champion at Kirby Muxloe.