American Golf Ladies Championship Winners
Hopkins and Cooper-Olsen are the first ever American Golf Ladies champions following a close-fought 36 hole final. The Worthing pair scored an impressive 63 points over 36 holes – edging past Brighton & Hove duo Charlotte Hinge and Céline Graciet.
The famous Brabazon course, at The Belfry, was the stage and the competitors battled through difficult conditions to put together some impressive scores. Thoughts of victory seemed far away for Hopkins and Cooper-Olsen as they got under way.
“After Maggie was so nervous she hit an air shot on the first I didn’t fancy our chances,” the latter said. “I had to hit my drive through tears of
laughter and we haven’t stopped laughing since, the whole event has been incredible.
“Our experience with American Golf has just got better and better and I can’t thank them enough for a wonderful championship.”
Cooper-Olsen didn’t even think she’d make the final as her father was gravely ill in the week leading up to the event. “He was discharged the morning of the second round so I just relaxed into it and we played really well,” she added.
She also admitted she had only entered because she saw it as a chance to get a free round of golf at Hopkins’ home course at Rustington.
Bringing together qualifiers from events held all over the UK, the Grand Final weekend saw some great golf played. Fast greens and windy weather marked the first round and special invitees England Golf’s Lauren Spray and On Course Foundation’s Kate Surman, who were ineligible for the main prizes, recorded 36 points and 34 in round two.
The heavens opened on Saturday morning for the final round and, while it made the greens a little easier to navigate, teams still struggled for consistency in the wet.
Overnight leaders Esther McNeil and Jayne Martin fell away with 26 points and that left three pairs battling it out for the title. Along with the top two, mother-and daughter team Brownyn and Tracy Davies also showed great consistency, eventually finishing third.
Bronwyn had competed in the Long Drive Championship final two weeks earlier but found Hopkins and Cooper Olsen too strong as they maintained a fantastic run of form.
Hopkins said: “I’ve had an amazing year of golf. Since the qualifying event I’ve been cut from 28 to 21. I had my first ever eagle and now this.
“American Golf have been fantastic this weekend and this really is an incredible end to the best golfing period of my life.”
Hinge and Graciet grabbed the runners up position on count back and Hinge, a project manager playing off 17, said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked!
“I didn’t lose a ball all day and am chuffed that we’ve managed to get second place.” It was a second round of 32 points, added to their opening 31, that gave Cooper-Olsen and Hopkins the inaugural title.
Sign up for American Golf’s 2017 event for free at americangolf.co.uk/events.