Murdoch claims title

CAMERON MAXWELL --

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

While the weather did a major about-face, nothing changed on the golf course for Alison Murdoch.

Murdoch ran away with the Royale National Women's Senior Championship yesterday at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, shooting a 3-over 147 total, beating her closest challenger, Amherstburg, Ont.'s Cheryll Damphouse, by five shots.

The event was shortened to 36 holes after the second round was washed out.

It was Murdoch's third win in the last four years but she said it was the first time she's led heading into the final round.

"I thought about that overnight. I thought 'Ooh, I've never been in the lead, what's that all about? Is that going to make me somehow mentally different or think about it differently?,' " said the 55-year-old from Victoria.

The answer to her questions was an emphatic "no."

She stayed focused, shot a 74 for the best round of the day and overcame a string of four holes from No. 10-13 where she made three bogies.

But Murdoch recovered and made birdie on the par-5 16th and that's when she knew the tournament was hers.

"That gave me the separation that I felt quite confident about," said Murdoch.

She's also the reigning Irish senior champion and will be heading overseas to defend her title.

Georgetown, Ont.'s Gloria Sinclair finished third at 154.

The top Calgarian was Diane Williams, who shot a 75 and moved up from 13th to finish in a tie for fourth at 11-over. Marilyn O'Connor also made a huge leap, shooting a 76 yesterday to finish in a tie for 13th after she began the final round in 27th place.


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