MURTOA College is not known as a sporting powerhouse, but that might be about to change.
Two formers students from the school put on a masterclass in the final of the Golf Victoria 2013 Women's Senior Championship at the Horsham golf course on Thursday.
Fourteen-time Horsham Golf Club champion Jenny McRae pulled out a tough 2-1 match-play victory over former Murtoa resident Heather Gellatly, who now plays for Melbourne's Huntingdale Golf Club.
The two progressed to the final of the tournament after qualifying for the top eight from a field of about 70 competitors from across Victoria.
The qualifiers were decided by stroke play aggregate from rounds on Monday and Tuesday, and the quarter and semi-finals of the tournament were played on Wednesday.
Gellatly was the top qualifier after posting a 36-hole aggregate of 160 over the first two days, while McRae qualified in second.
The pair had to contend with heavy rain and blustery conditions, along with each other in the final, but McRae was too good in the end and lifted the champions trophy.
It was McRae's first time competing at the event, after she was unable to accept previous invitations.
She said she was thrilled to win the championship and that playing against her old schoolmate had made the match-up more interesting.
"We had a tough battle and it was a good match regardless of the weather conditions," she said.
"Heather and I are old buddies from way back in our school days, so I felt comfortable playing against her.
"We definitely didn't take it easy on each other - we shook hands at the start and we were friends, but then we went out and did what we needed to do."
McRae said she had not expected to win at her first attempt in the tournament, especially with the strong field of women competing.
She said apart from being crowned Victorian Women's senior champion, she was also pleased to have reduced her handicap to two.
Gellatly said she was disappointed to have lost in the final, but was pleased for McRae.
"Jen played really well today in what were pretty trying conditions and she deserved it," she said.
"I thought I might win it when I was two holes up, but she won four holes in a row from eight to 11 and that was the turning point in the match.
"Jen and I enjoyed competing against each other. It's fun to be out there when there's a great event like that on the line."
Gellatly said it was the first time she had played at the Horsham course since it was devastated by bushfires in 2009, and was pleasantly surprised by the restoration work that had been done.
"The course is in terrific condition and the recovery the club has made is a credit to all involved," she said.
Horsham Golf Club women's captain Julie Wirth said the club was ecstatic to see one of its own members raise the trophy.
She said the tournament had been a success despite the inclement weather conditions on the final day and that competitors had enjoyed the new-look Horsham course.