Poddy Jennings casts her eye on big golf prize

Poddy Jennings beat runner-up Samantha Fletcher to become one of six players to move through to the  Journal Ladies Trophy final

Poddy Jennings yesterday thanked caddy Brenda Walton, a friend from her Gosforth Park Ladies club, for keeping her calm enough to win the Northumberland Final of the Journal Ladies Trophy.

Jennings beat the runner-up, Gosforth’s Samantha Fletcher, by one shot at Hexham to become one of six players to move through to the JLT Grand Final.

The field in that final will play for a first prize of an overnight stay for two at Close House, two rounds of golf and dinner in the Argent D’Or restaurant.

“I was a bag of nerves for this one – a sleepless night and all that,” said Jennings. “And I know I shall be even worse in the Grand Final. Late in the round, when I realised I had a reasonable chance, was when I was most nervous but Brenda was magnificent. She exudes calm and tranquility.” Christened Catherine, the 48-year-old Jennings, who lives in Gosforth, has been called Poddy from birth.

“It is some sort of Yorkshire thing,” said Jennings, brought up in Northallerton. “Nobody has ever called me anything else ever, not even my mother.

“It was something to do with being the youngest and smallest of the family although we are all quite substantial, I am 5ft 8in and just over 10�st.”

Jennings has been playing golf regularly for only three years and works in Sunderland as a manager in a family firm, Jennings Foundry.

“I love my golf,” she said. “It was a long round, almost five hours, but it was dry and bright as against blowing a gale the last time I played it. The Hexham course is beautiful, and everywhere was in excellent condition.”

The six players who qualified on Wednesday will be joined by another six from the Durham County final at George Washington on July 26 to complete the field for the JLT Grand Final at Close House on August 16.

All the field at Hexham had previously won their club qualifiers to make it through to the Northumberland Final.

QUALIFIERS

Poddy Jennings (Gosforth Park Ladies) 96 – 24 = 72; Samantha Fletcher (Gosforth) 84 – 11 = 73; Pat Addy (Arcot Hall) 99 – 25 = 74; Helen Cooper (Blyth) 83 – 7 = 76; Judith Moore (City of Newcastle) 84 – 5 = 79, Kim McKenna (Tynemouth) 83 – 4 = 79

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