Grady wins it from the back tees
Lyndsey HewisonDunston Hall professional Caroline Grady took on the men at their own game - and beat them by two shots in the latest Norfolk Alliance meeting at King's Lynn.Lyndsey Hewison
Dunston Hall professional Caroline Grady took on the men at their own game - and beat them by two shots in the latest Norfolk Alliance meeting at King's Lynn.
She teed up with the men from the back tees and went round in a gross 71, one-under par on the men's card. She was two shots clear of her closest challenger for the professional prize, Norfolk number one Neil Lythgoe, and four ahead of third placed Mark Allen of Eaton.
Grady was actually due two shots to compensate for playing from the back tees. They would have reduced her score to 69, but she had no need of them to seal the win.
'It was a fabulous result for me,' she said. 'It's horses for courses and I always seem to play well at King's Lynn or Thetford, where accurate driving and straight hitting is needed. I might struggle off the whites at Sheringham or Cromer if the wind blows!'
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Grady is enjoying a very good winter season, with a string of local successes.
This was only her second event after a long lay-off forced by the bad weather - and the rest has clearly refreshed her.
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Although she had two bogeys in the first three holes she quickly came back with a birdie on the short fifth, where she holed a 12-footer, and another on the sixth, where her eight-iron to the green finished within a foot of the hole.
A third birdie on the 10th, where ironically she played her worst tee shot of the day, took her below par.
'King's Lynn is one of my favourite courses - I've won a couple of times round there but this was absolutely brilliant, I played really nicely,' she said.
She's had only one disappointment this winter season and that was failing by one shot to get through to final qualifying for the Ladies European Tour.
'The weather was atrocious - the first round was abandoned - but that's no excuse,' she said.
'It was my club selection in the wind which cost me, I was either long or short or three-putted from the edge of the green. Just silly shots. To miss out by just one shot was ridiculous because, apart from two poor drives, I hit the ball as solidly as at home.'
However, Grady is still hoping to get some starts on Tour and, with that in mind, is preparing to change her irons so she will have the new, conforming grooves required at that level.
'The new grooves will be quite challenging,' she said. 'I think you'll be able to produce some spin from the fairway but not with shots from the rough. It will definitely make it harder, but I've got to be prepared.'
She's also considering playing on the new satellite tour which is being set up by the LET.
The early January meeting of the Alliance was cancelled because of the weather and will now take place at Sheringham on March 4.