THE Bendigo and District women’s representative golf team laid a solid foundation for future success by clinching third place overall in the Country Teams’ top division yesterday.
Bendigo’s young team had a shot at the title heading into yesterday’s final round.
However, Bendigo had to settle for third after squaring its final tie with East Gippsland at Victoria Golf Course.
South-Western claimed the division one title after three wins from its four matches.
East Gippsland and Bendigo both won 2.5 matches, but East Gippsland won more games across the three days of competition in Melbourne.
“You could have thrown a blanket over South Western, East Gippsland and Bendigo – we were all in that position to win,” Bendigo captain Bernice Campbell said.
“We only missed out on second by one-and-a-half games; it’s a fantastic effort by the girls.”
Bendigo surged to a fast start with a win over perennial powers North-Eastern at Spring Valley Golf Course on the opening day.
“When we beat North Eastern on the Monday it sent shockwaves through the whole division,” Campbell said.
Victory over Goulburn Valley, which was relegated yesterday, followed by a 5-2 loss to South-Western at Peninsula Golf Course on Tuesday kept Bendigo in the title hunt.
But Bendigo and East Gippsland couldn’t be split yesterday.
Bendigo’s winners for the day were Janelle Brown, Stephanie Wearne and Bernice Campbell, while Carmel Bourne split her match.
Wearne went unbeaten throughout the week, while Brown only lost one match.
The performances of debutant Tahlia Holmberg, Jenna Harding and Wearne were positives for Bendigo, which has not won division one since 1990, Campbell said.
“With these young ones coming up we’ve, hopefully, got the youth to take it out in the not too distant future,” she said.
“The fact that we’ve retained our position and are still in division one - that’s what we’re pretty stoked about.”
Mornington was promoted to the top division after winning division two.
Bendigo’s team – Janelle Brown (Neangar Park), Carmel Bourne (Bendigo), Tahlia Holmberg (Neangar), Stephanie Wearne (Heathcote), Jenni Bilkey (Bendigo), Jenna Harding (Castlemaine/Neangar), Helen Leech (Neangar/Calivil), Bernice Campbell (Neangar), Chelsea Wearne (Heathcote), Leanne Robertson (Bendigo), Ruth Iser (emergency, Axedale).