CUMBRIA golfers Linda Young and Ruth Coleby won the Plate final of the 2010 Ping Fourball Betterball Tournament on a day when strong winds brought a large branch crashing down beside the first tee at Gainsborough Golf Club, Lincolnshire.
Linda and Ruth were safely on the course at the time, but EWGA president Ann Irvin, a photographer and competitors had to run for safety as the branch fell across a path where they had been standing moments before.
Tracey Freedman and Louise Johnson of Portal Premier, Cheshire, had just teed off and were waiting for their opponents to hit when the branch crashed down. “We heard this creak, creak, creak,” said Tracey. “Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, but then I saw the photographer run and I ran too.”
Jude Gannon of Chilwell Manor, Nottinghamshire, was standing nearby: “It was just like a firecracker going off,” she said. “It was a good job it made a noise because that’s what warned people.”
Play was suspended from the first tee for about 40 minutes before the competitors, who were still due to start, began their rounds from the third hole. They played holes one and two at the end of their rounds.
The PING tournament, which is run by the English Women’s Golf Association, attracted entries from almost 17,000 women this year. The best 60 pairs of club winners qualified for the Grand Final, while the next 72 pairs went through to the new Plate Final.