On Sunday afternoon last in Collinstown, Ena Clinton created a piece of personal history by winning the Ladies Player of the Year for the first time. Ena has been a member of the club and committee since the late eighties and has been a wonderful supporter of all competitions in Collinstown throughout those years. She has been the club’s PRO for more than 20 years now and has had to continuously report each year on the winners of competitions such as this. She now has the deserved honour of writing about herself as the Lady Player of the Year Champion for 2013.
Unfortunately Collinstown (and the rest of the country) do not have the numbers of Ladies playing the game that they once had so no longer do semi-finals of the Player of the Year exist in the Ladies section. That in itself makes this achievement more notable though as qualification for the final goes only to the two top lady players throughout the year. There is no doubt that Ena’s game has improved this year as she produced some of the best pitch and putt of her career in 2013.
Her opponent in the final was the ever-consistent, Anne Kelly. Anne, a past Leinster Junior champion is no stranger to the pressure of a final. Indeed she was runner-up in this event last year when Kathleen Bray got the better of her. Anne was giving Ena 4 shots in each round in the final and one suspected that this might cause her a few problems. Indeed this was the case as Ena birdied the opening two holes to take an immediate advantage. Ena continued her good early play and stormed into a 5 hole lead. Anne had pulled this back to just 3 though after the opening 18 holes.
Anne continued her comeback in the second round and reduced the deficit to just a single hole. But Ena found another gear and won some vital holes at the right time on the back 9. Ena was not going to be caught a second time and eventually closed out the match by a 5&4 margin – a convincing win by the new champion.
Ena thanked the course maintenance crew in her speech. She had kind words for her opponent and friend Anne. She thanked Martin and John for all the work on the competitions and she praised the website for keeping everyone informed on all things Collinstown. Ever the club-woman she wished the new committee the best of luck in the year to come which will be a big year for Collinstown as hosts of the Provincial Inter-Counties.