A Hazel Kavanagh-inspired Great Britain and Ireland saved their best till last in what transpired to be a thrilling finale to the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup in Austin, Texas.
With the hosts well-placed at the start of the third and final round to become the first winners of the trophy, Tracy Loveys’ team began it aiming to usurp Canada in second place.
The Canadians, 10 points adrift of the USA and 16 ahead of Great Britain and Ireland at the start had a different agenda, however.
With the best three rounds from the five team members counting towards the overall score, Canada posted the best return of the tournament: a combined one-over-par total of 217.
Inspired by Christine Wong, who posted her second sub-par round of the tournament – a one-under par 71 – Canada twice came within four shots of the USA – the margin between the two teams at the finish.
Now coaching out of Impact Golf at Leopardstown, Kavanagh reprised the form that made her the first woman to win a PGA national tournament with a one-over-par round of 73
What a week here in Texas with these girls for the 1st Women’s PGA Cup 🙌🏻 such highs and lows on the course but loved it🏌️♀️Thank you PGA. Well done America super performance 🏆 @ThePGA #pgacup#womensgolf pic.twitter.com/nG7wuU1slB
— Hazel Kavanagh (@HKavanaghGolf) October 27, 2019
It was the best round posted by any of the Great Britain and Ireland team in the tournament and ensured all five members contributed to the overall score.
In terms of overhauling the Canadians, however, Kavanagh’s effort was to no avail. Likewise those of Maria Tulley and Alison Gray.
Both delivered their best rounds of the tournament, carding rounds of three and four-over-par respectively as Great Britain finished on plus-50 for the tournament, 23 shots adrift of Canada but 17 clear of Australia and 27 ahead of fifth-placed Sweden.
Although Kavanagh justifiably occupied the limelight on day three, Scotland’s Heather MacRae consolidated her reputation as Ms Consistency and position as Great Britain and Ireland’s most effective performer with her third successive round of four-over.
Given that the tournament was launched to the strains of a piper, that was perhaps appropriate.
Justifiably, Loveys refused to single out an individual for praise, quite rightly insisting everyone played their part.
“The fact that each member contributed to the team score over the three days of competition is fantastic,” she said. “I am so proud of all of them – it was a great week for female professional golfers all over the world.”
Final scores: USA +23, Canada +27, Great Britain & Ireland +50, Australia +67, Sweden +77.