Karen Ferguson-Snedden won the Scottish Senior Women’s Match Play Championship for the first time when she beat Iona McKean 2 & 1 in a tense final at a windswept Aberdour.
The Mortonhall player needed to go all the way to the 20th hole before beating East Renfrewshire’s Gillian Kyle in the semi-final and in the final she had to work almost as hard against an opponent who was frequently outgunned off the tee but never more than a hole behind before losing the 17th green.
McKean won the opening hole but lost the fourth to go back to all square. The Ladybank player regained the initiative with a win on the fifth and still held that slender advantage before Ferguson-Snedden won both the 12th and 13th. She went further ahead with another win on the 16th before closing out the match with a halve on the 17th.
“It was tough but I’m delighted,” admitted the new champion who had started the Match Play Championship as second seed after finishing runner-up to Elaine Moffat in the 36-hole Senior Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
“I’m also a bit surprised about how well I’ve done. “I was hoping to get into the match play and have a run but I didn’t really think I’d be able to get to the final and win.
“Iona is pretty incredible,” she added. “I had a big length advantage off the tee but she doesn’t do a lot wrong, chips it close and sinks putts. Great credit to her. She was very tough to beat.”
Earlier in the day, McKean showed just how doughty a competitor she is by ending Moffat’s lengthy three-year reign as Senior Women’s Match Play champion when she came from two down after 11 holes to claim a 2 & 1 win. That reign had begun when Moffat took the title at Prestwick St Nicholas in 2018 and was extended the following year with a successful defence at Edzell. The 2020 championship was cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.
The concurrent net competition was won by Gullane’s Sarah Ledingham who beat Elaine MacGregor 4 & 2 in the final.
Earlier in the day, Ledingham reached the final with a two-hole victory over Comiston’s Jaci Moriarty while MacGregor beat Turnhouse’s Morag Wardrop on the 18th hole.
“I was very surprised to get to the final,” Ledingham admitted after her victory over MacGregor. “I’ve had a fantastic week here at Aberdour. It’s my first time playing in the Scottish Seniors so I’m delighted to come here and become the net winner.
“I’ve met a lot of new people, I’ve met people I’ve known a long, long time, it’s been super and Aberdour’s been great.
Today was tough, it was very windy, very blustery. When we teed off at eight this morning it was very calm. It was like that for the first four or five holes but then the wind picked up and it became very tricky. The tees are all off the whites this week, and I’m not a particularly long hitter, so coming back into the wind from the 12th was quite hard work for me.
“I just kept my head down and got on with it.”