GOLF - Nicholas rolls back the years to win OCEANTEE WPGA Series opener at Redditch Golf Club - The Redditch Standard

GOLF - Nicholas rolls back the years to win OCEANTEE WPGA Series opener at Redditch Golf Club

FORMER US Women’s Open champion Alison Nicholas MBE rolled back the years to win the opening event in the OCEANTEE WPGA Series at Redditch Golf Club.

Nicholas, who is the Head Teaching Professional at Redditch Golf Club, finished one shot clear of Abigail O’Riordan to make a winning start to the series with a score of one over par.

The two-time Solheim Cup captain produced a stunning approach shot on the par-five 18th to set up the decisive birdie that clinched victory and the £700 winners prize.

Nicholas said: “It was a tough day. There was a breeze, the greens were quick and good and it’s quite a tricky golf course but is in superb condition.

“I got off to a good start and should have been two-under on the front nine but didn’t hole any putts. I managed to get a birdie on the last when my ball apparently went in the hole and came back out again.

“Although it’s my home course, I don’t play it a lot. I know the front nine better than the back. But I made an effort before this and played the back nine twice just to get used to it.

“I played okay, and I probably know it better than anyone else in the field. It’s a bit quirky so it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t know it. I also had some great support from the members – everyone has been fantastic here. It’s been a great day.”

The 60-year-old is the early leader of the Order of Merit the victor of which earns a place in the Great Britain and Ireland team that will contest the Women’s PGA Cup in the USA in October.

Nicholas added: “I’d love to play in that event. Obviously, that’s a goal but there’s lots of things that can happen between now and then.

“I’ll keep working on my game and I’m playing in the US Seniors in August. I’m doing a lot of fitness work as well, but I had Covid recently and had to cut down on that. But I’m alright now and this is a great start for me.”

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