Tracey and Amelia Williamson, from Royal Cromer, were bathed in unseasonably warm sunshine, as they dropped only three shots over 27-holes medal foursomes to secure their fourth successive Mothers and Daughters' title at Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club in Richmond.
Amelia, aged 16, playing off an incredible, +3 handicap, and her mother, off 1, were the clear favourites and looked set to romp to victory unchallenged, having won by a convincing nine shots last year.
However, despite a seemingly effortless and flawless level-par-71 in their morning round, the Williamsons found themselves up against some fierce competition from the 2012 winners, Christine and Charlotte Griffith, from Walton Heath. Former professional, Christine, admitted her daughter "putted like a god", holing out from all over the green, including a brilliant 25-footer on the 398-yard, 14th hole, to save par on route to a very satisfying, two-over-par, 73.
A birdie at the first hole set the Griffiths off to a good start and all was going rather well until a mini-disaster struck at the straightforward par 3, 15th hole, where they had to endure a frustrating double-bogey; nevertheless, the Griffiths bounced back with a solid birdie at the next hole. The Williamsons, who had aimed to return a sub-par record score, taking advantage of the beautiful benign conditions , found the perfectly manicured greens surprisingly difficult and felt their card could have been even better had their putts rolled in.
After an excellent morning's golf, the stage was set for an exciting battle over the afternoon nine hole which, in the end, proved to be a little anti-climatic; both couples continued to play steadily but squandered a few shots and Amelia even missed a couple of nervy 2-footers! Although costly, the Williamsons still only dropped three shots to score 38, while the Griffiths could only muster a 39, missing out on the 27-hole aggregate score by three shots.
Another outstanding performance came from Jill Brown, playing for the first time with her 18-year-old daughter, Kirsty. The pair from Hankley Common combined brilliantly to overcome some stronger pairings to finish third scratch overall with scores of 79 and 42, while also taking the 27-hole handicap prize.
2017 is a milestone for Royal-Mid-Surrey, celebrating its 125th anniversary, having hosted the Mothers and Daughters for the last 55 years (since the event's inauguration at Ranelagh in 1932). During those years there have been some extraordinary performances from some of our very best amateur golfers, who return year after year and often make the transition from winning daughter to winning mother, relishing the opportunity to compete in such a special event.
Unfortunately, the Williamsons, loyal supporters of this great tradition, have only one last chance to lift the trophy. In a couple of years, Amelia will head off to an American University before turning professional but the pair have left an indelible mark on the Mothers and Daughters. Indeed, Amelia became in the youngest winner, in 2014, aged 13, the first year that the couple competed and they have never been beaten!
Can they make it five in a row? We'll have to wait and see!
Mothers and Daughters will be played on 14th April 2018
109 - Tracey and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer) 71,38
112 - Christine and Charlotte Griffith (Walton Heath) 73, 39
121 - Jill and Kirsty Brown (Hankley Common) 79, 42
123 - Glenna and Claudia Beasley 81,42
125 - Sarah and Helena Mortimer ( Walton Heath) 83,42, Sheila and Heather Stirling (RMS/Blaigowrie) 84, 41
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