Heather Macrae and Suzanne Dickens staged their own ‘duel in the sun’ for the Titleist &FootJoy Women’s PGA Professional Championship - MacRae finally coming out on top in the heat of battle.
The title was finally decided via a play-off after the duo had spent the day trading blows for 36 holes over Frilford Heath’s Blue Course, which MacRae summed up as akin to ‘matchplay’ golf.
The new-look format, which saw the championship as a standalone event for the first time, was a real test of stamina as much as skill as Britain baked on the hottest day of the year.
For Macrae, right, who was making her debut in the tournament, this was a title she desperately wanted to win. It slipped from her grasp over the final three holes of regulation play, a bogey at 16 and a double at 17 opened the door for 2014 champion Dickens (Thorpe Wood), who sunk a birdie on the last to take it into extra time with the pair tied on four-under-par.
The play-off lasted one hole as Dickens uncharacteristically topped her tee shot to hand the advantage to her rival. Dickens recovered as she hit her second to the fringe of the green but MacRae landed her approach shot 12 feet from the pin to ramp up the pressure.
Dickens’ putt from off the green fell eight feet shy of the pin. MacRae’s first attempt glanced at the hole leaving a tap-in and Dickins needing to hole out to take them back to the tee. But it wasn’t to be and MacRae duly took the title and the winner’s cheque for £1,000.
“I’m really proud to be a PGA pro and winning this tournament is a great event to win,” said MacRae, who is based at Archerfield Links.
“To have my name on this trophy is something I set out to do at the start of the year so I’m delighted to come and get it done. I really wanted to win and it means a lot to win an event like this.”