Bethan and Shelby go one better this time to land South West title
IT was a case of third time lucky for Bethan Popel and Shelby Smart, who became the South West Women's foursomes champions at Enmore Park.
After being runners-up in the previous two years, the talented Bristol teenagers proved themselves not only the best players in Gloucestershire, but also the whole of the region, by winning in record style.
A breathtaking round of four-under-par 69 brought an astonishing win by 12 shots.
Nearest challengers Jane Southcombe and Mel McMahon (Dorset) managed 81, with Somerset's Amanda Mayne (Saltford) and Hannah Grant (Enmore Park) one shot further back in third.
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Knowle's Smart, 18, and Long Ashton's Popel, 17, were four-under-par after eight holes and finished with three successive birdies. The pair managed three chip-ins – Smart on the eighth after she holed from a greenside bunker at the fifth and Popel on the tenth.
Scratch player Popel, who works in the Long Ashton pro shop and also the kitchen at the golf club, said: "It was such a strong field we felt needed to shoot under par, so it was unbelievable to win by such a large margin."
They have been the key players in the county team and played major roles as Gloucestershire reached the national county finals for the past two years.
Smart ended a successful week by winning the Gloucestershire County Watson Williams Scratch Foursomes championship, partnered by Knowle colleague Hannah Barwood, on GLCGA finals day at Bristol and Clifton. They beat Corrinne Durber and Caroline Shepherd (Minchinhampton) 6 and 5 in the final.
Liz Rees and Linda Lee (Minchinhampton) beat Shirehampton Park's Wendy Reynolds and Liz Hemmings in the county handicap foursomes at the 19th hole.