Holly Clyburn bounces back as England clinch title
HOLLY Clyburn blasted back from a shock match-play defeat to fire England to Home International glory.
The 21-year-old went into yesterday's final qualifying session for the Ricoh Women's British Open on a high after she won her singles match against Wales, helping England retain the title amid a dramatic finale.
England tied 4½-4½ with Wales in a showdown for the title but lifted the trophy at Cork Golf Club after winning on the tie-breaking games rule, 18½-16½.
It appeared plain sailing for favourites England at Cork Golf Club when they hammered Ireland 9-0 on the opening day.
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But they had to battle through a close match against Scotland, to win 5-4, before their final-day thriller against the Welsh.
And the clash against the Scots was painful for Clyburn, who suffered a surprise individual match-play defeat at the hands of Rachael Watton, losing six and five.
Watton was on fire from the first tee and raced to a six-hole lead at the turn; and the contest was all over on the 13th green.
It was a rare singles defeat for Curtis Cup winner Clyburn, renowned for delivering the points in team events.
But the Cleethorpes star was soon back to her best when it counted, drawing first blood for England in their title showdown against Wales the next day, beating Gemma Bradbury 6 and 4.
Clyburn was three shots up after seven holes and lost only one hole during the match.
Katie Bradbury dug in for Wales with an impressive scalp against Emily Taylor to level the tie – but it wasn't enough to deny England the title.
Ireland came from 3-0 down to beat Scotland 5-4 and finish third in the competition.