Ellon's Michele Thomson staged a last-round swoop with the tournament's only sub-par round, a one-under 70, to snatch the £2,250 first prize from overnight leader and fellow North-east tour pro, Laura Murray to win the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Ladies Open at Murcar Links Golf Club.
The second-day weather was worse than the first - it never stopped drizzingly, the wind came from the south rather than the north, and the chill factor had several English competitors shivering with the cold as they checked in their scorecards at the PGA recorder's table.
Thomson, the 2008 Scottish women's amateur champion and a GB&I Curtis Cup team player at St Andrews that same year, is maturing and improving after a slowish start to her pro career. Her second-round 70 was an eight-shot improvement on her first round and her six-over-par aggregate of 148 saw her win by three shorts from Alford's Murray (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre), another former Scottish champion, who had rounds of 74 and 77 for 151 to gain the £1,000 runner-up prize.
Tour Director Nicola Melville moved several tees forward after complaints that the course was too long for the lady pros in the northerly wind of Thursday. So, on paper at least, it was an easier course, possibily less than 6,000yd, but the non-stop and the rain killed any feel-good factor among the competitors.
It was Thomson's second win on the Ladies' Tartan Tour and she feels she is gaining a higher level of consistency through competing with and against players like former Solheim Cup star Trish Johnson who was her playing partner throughout the 36 holes at Murcar Links. Johnson, from
Wiltshire, collected the £650 third prize with scores of 78 and 74 for 152.
"There's no doubt that playing with Trish both days helped me tremendously. She was and still is a great player and she certainly spurred me on,' said 27-year-old Michele whose shot of the round was
a holed pitch from 35yd range for a birdie at the 13th. She had four birdies in all, making a flying start with a 3-3 start, followed by the gains at 11th and 13th. Her only bogeys came at the seventh, eighth and 10th in halves of 37. "In contrast to the first round, I was never in any trouble," said Thomson.
Laura Murray was philosophical about losing her overnight lead. "Great that a North-east player still finished up winning the tournament," she said. "I still hit the ball well but holed nothing. I reckon I must have had 36 putts. I cannot remember single-putting any green."
Beth Allen, the American-born LET player who has made Falkirk her European base, finished fourth on 153 (77-76).
The Ladies Tartan Tour moves on to Montrose Links on Monday and Tuesday.
PAUL LAWRIE GOLF CENTRE LADIES OPEN - Murcar Links Golf Club
FINAL TOTALS Par 142 (2x71)
148 Michele Thomson (unatt) 78 70 (£2,250)
151 Laura Murray (Paul Lawrie GC) 74 77 (£1,000)
152 Trish Johnson (Wiltshire) 78 74 (£650)
153 Beth Allen (Falkirk) 77 76 (£325)
154 Gabriella Cowley (Hanbury Manor) 78 76, Kiran Matharu (Cookridge
Hall) 78 76 (£202 each).
157 Becky Brewerton (Wiltshire) 81 76, Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth) 78 79
158 Maria Tulley (Eastbourne Downs) 79 79, Heather MacRae (Gleneagles)
78 80 (£75 each)
159 Jane Turner (West Linton) 84 75, Lucy Goddard (Hanbury Manor) 81 78,
Kelsey MacDonald (Carrick on Loch Lomond) 77 82
160 Chloe Rogers (Celtic Manor) 79 81
162 Tracey Boyes (Corhampton) 85 77, Sarah Attwood (Gog Magog) 77 85.
164 Emilee Taylor (Holmhall) 85 79
165 Lisa Shervill (The Shropshire) 83 82
166 Keely Chiericato (Manston) 81 85
170 Jess Wilcox (Blankney) 84 86, Alyson McKechin (Elderslie) 84 86
171 Gillian Paton (Royal Montrose) (am) 88 83
173 Nichola Ferguson (American Golf) 84 89
175 Kirstin Scott (Gleneagles) 88 87, Rachel Drummond (Buckinghamshire)
176 Jorden Ferrie (Hilton Park) 87 89
191 Fiona Wait (Bathgate) (am) 96 95