Shannon is quickly off the mark 
in S Africa

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Aboyne’s Shannon McWilliam won the Border Ladies Championship by a resounding six strokes in South Africa on Sunday.

McWilliam outclassed the field thanks to 13 birdies – four in an opening 72, seven in a second-round 69 and two in a closing 75 at East London Golf Club. She finished on three-under-par par 216.

Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey) finished joint second.

Shannon, 18, was the only player in the field to finish in red numbers at the challenging layout. “I thought it was a really good tournament, although it was really tough playing the 36 holes in one day and 18 the next,” said last year’s Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship runner-up.

“We have a few tournaments back home like that and it really tests your golf, but we don’t usually play those on golf courses as hilly as this one. I’m glad I took a caddie each day. I played really nicely over both days – I was striking the ball well and holed a lot of putts.”

The field had to cope with incessant rain on Saturday, while it was 32C on Sunday. McWilliam, a Curtis Cup hopeful, added: “We had two extremes. We came here out of the British winter, so I think I had a wee bit of a benefit on the first day.

“On Sunday, it was extremely hot over the first nine holes and then the wind came back and the back nine was quite challenging. We had at least a two-club wind coming home and it was definitely a challenge.

“We play the South African Women’s Masters next on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.”

It is the first time a Scottish amateur female group has travelled to South Africa.