Miriam Vale golfer takes Rocky Open

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

POPULAR Miriam Vale golfer Kate Bell was as shocked as anyone when she won the Rockhampton Ladies Open Golf championship last Friday.

Bell who gave herself no chance at winning going into the Open shot a sensational round of 84 to win by three shots.

Emu Park's Raelee Oates backed up her recent Gladstone Ladies Open win with a runner-up finish in Rockhampton, posting a round of 87.

Her first ever Rockhampton Open victory astounded the 15handicapper who could not believe she won.

'I was utterly surprised, really stunned considering I had not been playing very well at all lately,' Bell said.

'Never in my wildest dreams I would have thought about winning the Rockhampton Open.'

Bell's fine round of 84 included three top birdies in near-perfect conditions at the Rockhampton Golf Club.

'To get three birdies in the round was excellent and I hit the ball very well,' she said.

Bell attributed her victory to some exceptional putting which fits in with the old golf adage ? you drive for show and putt for dough.

'I could not believe how well I putted, I really did not do much putting and that was probably the reason why I won the title,' she said.

The win has come at a cost though, with Bell now set to play Friday's Miriam Vale Ladies Open off a handicap of 13.

'I knew after the win that I would lose a couple of shots off my handicap, so I had better play more consistently now,' she said.

Bell only gives herself a slight chance of winning her home Open which has currently got an 80-strong field.

'It would be nice, but there are a lot of good golfers out there to play against,' she said.

And what about the chances of Bell, defending her Open title next year.

"I haven't even thought about next year, but it will be pretty hard ? I am going to enjoy this one for a while,' she said.

BITS player Kris Sanderson also enjoyed her trip to Rockhampton, finishing runner up in the C Grade competition.

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