Hampshire golfers Bridget Moore and Jenny Readman defied wet and windy weather to become the 2008 PING Fourball Betterball Champions of England.

The pair, from Meon Valley, scored 39 points in the grand final at Marriott Forest of Arden in Warwickshire and won the title by a point from Mary Brenstuhl  and Gina Rudkin of Elton Furze, near Peterborough.  Another Hampshire pair, Hazel Quarrington and Shirley Rees of Portsmouth, were third on 36 points. The tournament is run by the English Women’s Golf Association.

“We are very excited, ecstatic,” said Jenny, who will be giving her trophy pride of place in her pub, The Crofton at Stubbington, near Fareham, which boasts its own golf society. Bridget added: “It was fantastic to reach the final and to win is a real bonus.”

Conditions were difficult for the entire field but the winners, both 12-handicappers, coped well and scored on every hole. “It was quite tough but we didn’t get het-up about the weather and we didn’t try to force it,” said Bridget.

They have had plenty of opportunity to learn to cope with rain. Their first regional qualifier – at their home club – had to be abandoned when torrential rain flooded the greens. It also rained on the re-arranged date.

Runners-up Mary Brenstuhl and Gina Rudkin were delighted with their 38 points – and philosophical about being pipped. “We’ve had a wonderful day and just enjoyed it so much. It was tough out there and we were really pleased with our score,” said Mary.

Meanwhile, Jo Pearson of St Andrews Hospital, Northamptonshire,  won the praise of her partner, Chris Gore, for the quality of her golf – while 37 weeks pregnant.  “She was wonderful and she was on the green on all four short holes,” said Chris.

Jo, who used a buggy, played all but three of the holes. “Hopefully it will encourage other people to keep on playing when they’re pregnant!”

Dorset’s Dee Wood, from Crane Valley, encountered an unexpected obstacle on the 12th – where a deer chewed her ball. It wasn’t to the animal’s taste but by the time it dropped the ball it had left deep gouge marks on the cover. Dee replaced it and continued playing.

The award for the pair with the biggest gallery went to Kay Beaman and Kathryn Harvey from Bewdley Pines  in Worcestershire. Nine spectators turned up to walk the course with them and they came armed with a banner which declared “The fan club of the K Club.”  “I was almost in tears, it was fantastic,”  said Kay.

The tournament winners each received the PING trophies and £500 vouchers for PING goods or Ping Collection clothing, less the value of prizes won in earlier rounds.

The runners-up each received £100 vouchers and the third-placed pair each won £50 vouchers.

Nearest the pin prizes of a PING custom fit driver were awarded on the four short holes. They were: 5th Natalie Ireland (Shipley); 8th Jane Whyatt (Matlock),15th  Jean Capes (Romsey), 18th Jenny Readman (Meon Valley).

The tournament will be run again in 2009. Full details will be sent to clubs.

For further information visit www.englishwomensgolf.org