Top county professional Charley Hull wasted no time in recording her first victory since lockdown restrictions were lifted as she clinched the opening event on the 2020 Rose Ladies Series at Brokenhurst Manor.
The world number 25 needed a play-off to secure the plaudits in overcast and windy conditions in Hampshire as she beat home club pro Liz Young on the first additional hole after sinking a 12-foot putt for birdie.
In the first of a new series of ladies events backed by Ryder Cup star Justin Rose and wife Kate, the 24-year-old had looked set for a more comfortable win when she carded six birdies to lead by two shots with just two to play.
But a wayward tee shot on the 17th hole and a narrowly missed birdie putt on the closing hole meant she needed to play one more hole after finishing joint-top with Young on level par 70.
Hull, who joined Wellingborough in recent weeks, says it was a relief to get out on the golf course again after not playing a competitive round since the Gainbridge LPGA tournament in Florida in January.
The Solheim Cup player said: “I’m just so happy to be playing professional golf again and have a scorecard in my hand.
“The golf course was in great condition and it was my first time round here. I was quite happy with my score. I doubled the 17th, because I took a wrong line off the tee, but it was just great to be playing.
“I’ve missed it loads. I love playing golf. I’m pretty much golfed out because I’ve been playing every day, but I can’t wait to get back out on tour.
“I want to thank Justin and Kate Rose for putting these events on. You need to be playing to get back in the mindset.
“I’ve been playing a lot for the last few weeks and I played eight days on the trot, but it’s not the same as having a scorecard in your hand. I’ll go back to America in four weeks’ time, so hopefully this will get my brain back into tournament golf.”
Fellow Wellingborough professional Meghan MacLaren meanwhile was unable to find the birdies as she carded a score of 75 to finish in a tie for seventh place.
Both players are competing in the next Rose Ladies Series event at Moor Park on Thursday, June 25th.