WARRNAMBOOL teenager Joanna Flaherty fell agonisingly short at the Victoria Women’s Country Championships in Yarrawonga yesterday.
It took Cardinia-Beaconhills’ Alexandra Hilliard until the final hole of the matchplay grand final to snare the win with a 1-up result.
Flaherty, 19, booked her spot in the decider after three days of competition at the Murray and Lakes courses.
The first two days consisted of stroke play qualifying rounds.
The top eight golfers then advanced to matchplay quarter and semi-finals.
Flaherty qualified second for the matchplay section after rounds of 77 and 79. She said the grand final was tough, with her younger opponent — Hilliard is just 14 — getting the advantage.
“I lost on the 18th hole,” Flaherty said. “It was a pretty tight match.
“I missed a few chances around the greens and she holed a few putts and that’s all it takes really.”
But Flaherty, a member of Port Fairy and Warrnambool golf clubs, was thrilled with her overall performance.
It was the first time she had tackled the tournament, which has run since 1910.
She defeated Neanger Park’s Janelle Brown (4/3) and Buninyong’s Helen Pascoe (4/3) in her quarter and semi-finals.
“I was really happy with the way I played and I had two rounds in the 70s and that’s what I wanted to do,” Flaherty said.