The 2020 New Zealand Senior Women’s Championship concluded last night, at the Taupo Golf Club with the NZ Golf Veterans Challenge Cup, awarded to Australian, Jacqui Morgan (Monash), the title going back to Australia.

This prestigious women’s tournament is open to all senior women aged 50 and over, attracting the best senior players from both sides of the Tasman. With Morgan’s win yesterday, Australian players have won the Challenge Cup four times in the last five years.

Morgan, one of Australia’s most capped seniors, dominated the prize table claiming both the Challenge Cup for her performance in the match play section, and the Curtis Cup for the Stroke Play Championship, the best gross in qualifying.

Morgan comfortably won her final against local Diana Syer (Wairakei) in a match she lead at all stages. Turning 3-up after 9 holes, that included one birdie on the par-3, 6th, sadly for locals, Syer was in catch up mode most of the match. Morgan did have a couple of speed wobbles on three holes in the back nine, but held on to take out the match on the 17th.

Morgan’s run to the final included wins over her fellow countrymen, Carmen Palframan (Lake Karrinyup) and Helen Pascoe (Buninyong) before her semi-final against Brigit Holford (Royal Auckland Grange) in yesterday’s morning semi-final.

In confirming her place in yesterday’s final, Syer had her toughest battle against Robyn Boniface (Queens Park) who was the defending champion. Syer needed all 18 holes to secure her place against the seasoned campaigner from Southland, with a final score 2up.

Syer’s earlier wins were against Kim Burke (Shelly Beach) and Jill Morgan (Cambridge). Both Burke and Morgan were previous winners, in 2017 and 2015 respectively.

Taupo’s best result was in the Division 3, Manawatu Wanganui Salver, where Lynette Mortleman won, after a final against Dianne Cleland (Waikaka). Mortelman needed 2 extra holes to finally getting her hands on this salver.

Anna Brabyn, Taupo Golf Clubs President, won the LGU Vesta Cup for the best score in the stroke play round, for players aged 70-plus.

Other Taupo locals in the extensive prize pool in last night’s awards ceremony, were Chris Pritt, Lesley Hosking and Chris Thomson. Pritt and Thomson were both plate winners, Hosking a flight winner.

The 72nd championship attracted players from around the country along with 20 entrants from Australia. 124 senior ladies started the tournament last Monday with an 18-hole Stroke Play round before qualifying into 8 divisions of 16, competing for three days in match play.

Other divisional winners included Rosie Priest (Paraparaumu), Liz Bartlett (Ngaruawahia), and Sarah Pearson (Arrowtown) in the Waipukurau Jubilee Salver, Hawkes Bay Salver and Canterbury Rosebowl divisions respectively.

The Maunu Trophy was awarded to Chris Chambers (St Clair), the Wanaka Trophy to Mary Symons (Otautau) and the Waihi Trophy to Robyn Kennard (Tuatapere).

PaR nz Golfing Holidays who manage the tournament on behalf of New Zealand Golf announced that the 73rd Championship will be held in Taranaki from the 15th – 18th February at New Plymouth Golf Club, known as Ngamotu Links.

The attention of host club, Taupo, now turns to the 2020 Senior Women’s Trans-Tasman Biannual Tournament.

The inaugural Trans-Tasman was held in Adelaide in 2018 with Australia wining by one point. Morgan, the Australian captain, will hope her current form can continue over the weekend, attempting to lead her team to their second win.

The Australian team includes Sue Wooster who is currently the world’s leading senior women golfer. Named in January, Wooster has wins and top places in numerous senior women’s amateur tournaments around the globe.

Wooster did not play in the New Zealand championship this week, but was a winner in 2018. Wooster fly’s in today to join Morgan, Burke, Palfrman and Pascoe along with Sharon Dawson, who won the New Zealand championship in 2016.

New Zealand will be led by Robyn Boniface, who is awaiting the arrival of new cap to the team, Julie Gee (Riverside), who was also not available to compete this week.

Boniface’s team includes a star studded list of past Senior Women Champions including Robyn Pullar (Invercargill), Robyn Pellow (Ngauruawahia), along with Holford and Syer.

Boniface is a 4-time winner of the Challenge Cup and a 4-time winner of the Curtis Cup as the Stroke Play Champion. Syer is the current New Zealand Women’s Mid Am holder along with her 2020 runner-up place after this week’s tournament.

The Trans-Tasman programme includes an opening ceremony at Taupo Golf Club Saturday 22 February at 5.30pm, Foursomes match play Sunday from 8.30am with Fourball match play due to commence at 12.45pm. The teams will then compete in singles match play, like a Presidents Cup format, on Monday 24 February, tee off 8.30am.



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