GOLF: TEENAGER Natasha Podmore has a place in the record books of the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association with a remarkable double success, winning the Cheshire Junior Girls and Cheshire Ladies championships within a couple of weeks.
The 16-year-old, a member at High Legh, Warrington, handicap now four, is the youngest player in the history of the county association - almost 100 years old - to win both titles in the same season. The county association dates back to 1907.
"I am made up. I cannot believe it," she says. "I cannot believe it is really happening."
Natasha equalled the course record for amateur ladies at Runcorn with a round of 74-6-68 to win the Cheshire Girls Championship by four strokes.
Then at Prestbury, with her handicap reduced to 5.3, she won the Cheshire Ladies title after two rounds of medal play to join 16 in the matchplay stage, where she defeated Sue Dye from Delamere Forest 4&2 in the final.
Her handicap has now come down to 4.5, which makes her the lowest handicap player among the Cheshire Junior girls.
She is captain of Cheshire Junior Girls and, in an announce-ment after the Prestbury championship, she has been called up for Cheshire Ladies for Northern Counties Week at Seascale next month.
Since her double-success she has also won the first stage of the regional Faldo Series at Carden Park on the back nine with a seven-over-par gross 80.
The double has resulted in approaches from other clubs inviting her to join.
"They cannot believe I am only 16 and have won both the juniors and the ladies," she says. "I have had a few offers from others clubs but I want to stay at High Legh. This is where it started for me and where I want to stay faithful.
"If it had not been for the practice facilities here I would not have got this far. But apart from that I would not want to represent a club which has a sexist attitude towards women, discriminates against women, a club where women do not have equal opportunities.
"High Legh is a really modern club and I want to represent a modern club. This club is really supportive to women and juniors. Some clubs intimidate juniors with a negative attitude and a lot of rules, like clubs where the juniors can enter the competition with the men but not take a prize if they win. They should not be like that because juniors are, of course, the future of golf. I want to thank High Legh for being so supportive towards me."