The pair, from Shipley Golf Club, scored 37 stableford points on a wet day at Marriott Hollins Hall Hotel and Country Club in West Yorkshire.

They led seven pairs who qualified for the grand final of the competition at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel, Golf and Country Club on October 7. The tournament is run by the English Women’s Golf Association.   

The qualifiers, who all scored 31 points or better, all win a pair of ECCO shoes and a PING Collection sweater to wear at the final. Michelle and Natalie also each won a PING golf bag.

This was the third time Michelle and Natalie had paired up together in comeptition – and so far they’ve scored a 100 per cent winning record.  Now, they’re turning their attention to the grand final, in which Natalie has competed before.

“We can’t wait,” said Michelle, who plays off nine. “It’s going to be tremendous. It’s going to make our year, it’s going to be the pinnacle of our year.

Natalie, an 11-handicapper, set the pace on the outward half, scoring on each of the first nine holes. “She was absolutely awesome,” said Michelle, who made her contribution on the back nine. The pair finished strongly, playing the last six holes in level par.

They set off in a drizzle and played their way through several heavy showers but Michelle paid tribute to the organisers. “It was muddy and wet – the worst I have played in for a while – but other courses around here are shut and the organisers did a superb job to keep the course open and playable, a cracking job.”

Qualifiers

37pts Michelle Leatherland & Natalie Ireland (Shipley)

34pts Pat Chadwick & Janet Day (New North Manchester)

33pts Barbara Thornton & Tracey Bentley (Clitheroe); Wendy Stott & Carol Crowther (Outlane); Eileen Corn & Angela Chippendale (Pannal)

32pts Megan Sumner & Kate McLaughlin (Allerton Ladies’)

31pts Joyce Green & Elsie Thornber (Burnley)

Full details: www.pingchampionship.com.