May 15, 2003
Three weeks ago Dawn Addison was finding it a struggle to stand up, let alone swing a golf club. Now she is just one match away from claiming a place in the final of the Norfolk Ladies Championship.
The Barnham Broom player, who suffers from multiple-sclerosis, also had a painful rib injury to contend with going into the event on her home course, and feared she might have to give it a miss.
But a series of painkilling injections enable her to compete and, having got through the qualifying stages with just four shots to spare, she showed her strength in the match-play format with two contrasting victories yesterday.
Addison completed an emphatic 4&3 victory over 1999 champion Rebecca Shubrook in the morning and then displayed her battling qualities to pip Sammy Martin on the 18th green in a dramatic quarter-final in the afternoon.
After a nip-and-tuck battle Martin was one up going into the penulimate hole and had a short putt to win it but it slipped just past and her opponent's steady par three meant the match was all square going down the final fairway.
That was when Addison's famed short game really came to the fore. Her second shot landed just short of the greenside bunker, leaving her a testing up and down, but she executed her chip and eight foot putt perfectly to seal a 1-up triumph after Martin had failed to do likewise from the sand.
"I'm delighted and pretty exhausted to be honest," declared the winner. "It's a bit of a surprise really because I never thought I'd be playing. Three weeks ago I had a nasty viral cough and I somehow managed to spring a rib when I was coughing. It wasnvery pleasant I can tell you and my husband had to take me to the doctor because I was having trouble just standing up.
"But he gave me some painkillers which have done the trick and it hasn't caused me too many problems. I just feel very tired at the moment because it's a long time since I've played so much golf."
Addison is delighted to have reached the semi-finals but disappointed that her opponent will be Barnham Broom colleague Jo Ashmore who overcame a stern challenge from another home player Alex Cowie in the morning before cruising past Hunstanton's Jean Johnson after lunch.
"It's a shame one of us has to go out although I suppose at least it guarantees there will be a Banrham Broom player in the final," she said. "I've played with Jo a lot and won the Carrick Cup foursomes with her so we know each other's games inside out.
"I won't be able to hit the ball nearly as far as Jo but hopefully my short game will stand me in good stead. It should be an interesting match."
The other match also has the potential to be a classic as Tracey Williamson and Julia Wilkerson who have 11 titles between them come face-to-face at the semi-final stage after meeting in two of the previous three finals.
Both players were impressive 3&2 winners in the quarter-finals, with Williamson beating Katrina Lines and Wilkerson seeing off Jane Oliver but it was a very different story before lunch as they were given big scares by unfancied opponents.
Six-time champion Williamson was taken all the way to the 18th by Charlotte Presland in the first round before eventually edging home against a player who only made it into the knock-out stages because Heather Clarke was unable to play.
Wilkerson went even closer to going out. She found herself in a greenside bunker on the final hole with her match against Caldecott Hall's Karen Morley all square but managed to get up and down for a half, and then won the match on the first extra hole.
"It was really tough match and Karen played really well. I was just
relieved to get through to be honest," said Wilkerson who will be going
for a record fourth successive title today.
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