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Cath Rawthore at the double!

CATH Rawthore lifted the English Senior Women’s Strokeplay Championship for a second time after she surged away from the field on the final day at Preston Golf Club.

The 2014 champion enjoyed a share of the lead overnight and her magnificent final two-under par round of 71 was enough to give her back the trophy she won at Knaresborough nine years ago.

Rawthore, a member at Sale, proved to be a deserved winner in the sunshine at the Lancashire course after posting rounds of 74, 71 and for a three-under-par total. That allowed her to claim a four-shot victory from nearest challenger Swiss golfer Karin Luxon who herself enjoyed a successful week on foreign soil.

Rawthore needed a strong start in the Preston sunshine to put clear blue water between herself and the rest of the field and she made the perfect start as she birdied the second hole. That confidence continued as further birdies followed on the sixth and the ninth, meaning the former champion was three shots clear of Luxon as they made the turn. Another birdie at 16 was sandwiched between bogeys at 13 and 18 but Rawthore had already done the hard work as she claimed victory in front of friends and colleagues from the rest of the field.

Rawthore recently turned 60 and referenced her willingness to win an event having spent a decade in the Seniors’ section, a feat she was delighted to achieve at Preston.

She said: “I’m really thrilled. My goal this year was to win an event having played in the Seniors for ten years so I’m delighted to have achieved that.

“A decade of playing is a long time. I played well in the first year and got picked for England and in subsequent years I’ve played a few times so having turned 60, I wanted to win another event.

“I was disappointed to lose at the Senior Women’s Amateur. I went into that event with a back problem and my physio said I shouldn’t be playing but knew I was going to!

“The last two days at Stoneham my golf was really good but I just made a really bad decision at the 18th, it cost me a drop and Kerry went on to win which was deserved because she played beautiful golf.

“My game is in really good order at the moment and I’ve hit a little bit of a purple patch. I’m striking the ball really nicely but it makes a difference in a tournament because you can really work out how well you’re actually playing.

“It’s so nice to celebrate with all the girls. You get to know them all over so many years and it really is lovely. I only live 50 minutes from Preston so it’s great to see some northern faces up here as well.”

In the various age group categories, Luxon was named the winner in the 50-54 section with a total score of 220 (+1). Fellow Swiss golfer and last year’s champion Sophie Ducrey took the honours in the 55-59 category. Rawthore came out on top in those aged 60-64 and Royal St David’s member Ann Lewis took the plaudits in the over 65 age group.

The 2024 English Senior Women’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship will take place at Waterlooville Golf Club in Hampshire from 18-20 June. Cath Rawthore holds aloft her English Senior Women’s Strokeplay Championship trophy at Preston.

Photo by Leaderboard Photography.