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Essex golfer wins inaugural EWGA Grand Medal Final
26th June 2010
Leah Hedges
Leah Hedges (Photo leaderboardphotography.com & EWGA)

Essex golfer Leah Hedges (pictured) became the first winner of the new EWGA Grand Medal Final when she scored net 68 at The Worcestershire Golf Club. The competition series is run in association with Volvo.

"This is just great," said Leah, 20, of Stock Brook Manor. The 27-handicapper won the new title by just one stroke.

The runner-up was Oxfordshire's Justine Voss who went round in gross 74, two over par, and returned a net 69. West Surrey's Samantha Caplin also scored net 69 but took third place on countback.

As a result of the competition, Leah and Justine both qualify for the UK final of the Volvo Masters Amateur Tour.

The grand final, which was played in hot sunshine, brought together the cream-of-the-cream of medal winners from England's golf clubs.

Each of them returned the four best EWGA medal scores at their club last year to qualify for one of six regional finals. There, they claimed their place in the grand final by finishing in the top ten.

The competition series and the venue proved hugely popular with the competitors who enjoyed the format and The Worcestershire's course. 

"We've had a ball, it's been a wonderful day," said one while another remarked: "It's been a fantastic event, we have really felt part of something big."

The decision to play on a Saturday also won a vote of thanks. "I work all week and I'm at church on Sunday so this is the only day I can play," said one competitor.

The early pace was set by Barbara Ross-Jones of Kent who went out in the third group, birdied the first hole and came in with a net 70. She was joined on the same score by Dorset's Sandi Stott, but it was hours before they were overtaken by Samantha Caplin.

She started a flurry of low scores which included Leah's winning result. The 20-year-old is now looking forward to a handicap cut after a round which included six pars.

She's played golf since she was seven and is currently working hard on her game with the aim of getting down to the low 20s this season. Last year she was off 35 and has already had some hefty cuts this year.

"I thought I was in with a shout of winning," said Leah, who tied third in her regional final. "I've been playing very well lately and I've already won a medal this year.

"The competition was really good and it feels great to be the first winner. I'm very, very chuffed."

Justine, who is the development officer for the Berks, Bucks & Oxon county golf partnership, added: "I have really enjoyed myself. I am very pleased with my score and this is a fabulous course."

All the competitor received a PING Collection polo shirt.

Leading net scores:

Par 72 CSS 73
68 4 Leah Hedges (27 hcp, Stock Brook Manor)
69 Justine Voss (5, Henley); Samantha Caplin (14,West Surrey)
70 Loretta Wrigley (10, Houldsworth);  Barbara Ross-Jones (18, Nevill); Sandi Stott (18, Parkstone)

Click here for full scores

Image:leaderboardphotography.com


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