Third win for Hendriksen helps her bring Merit crown back to Palace
Devon golf professional Laura Hendriksen sealed her third Order of Merit title when she triumphed in the final WPGA One-Day Series event of the year at Little Aston Golf Club, in Birmingham.
Hendriksen, representing Torquay's Palace Hotel, topped the leaderboard at the Midlands venue after carding a one-under-par round of 73.
Mid-Sussex Golf Club's Hayleigh Wigmore was runner-up on level-par 74.
In terms of the Order of Merit, Hendriksen's victory was enough to keep her ahead of Suzanne Dickens, of Peterborough's Thorpe Wood Golf Course, who did not play at Little Aston.
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Wigmore's display was enough to earn her third place in the WPGA Order of Merit but it was Hendriksen's title – to add order of merit triumphs in 2007 and 2009 under her maiden name of Eastwood.
Hendriksen, 28, won three of this summer's seven OoM events – including the first two of the year at Dunham Forest and Salisbury & South Wilts – before finishing with a flourish.
She admitted: "It was my aim to win the Order of Merit, but I didn't expect to start as well as I did.
"That meant I was expecting a bit more of myself but then I got a new job at the Palace Hotel which meant re-assessing things and I didn't get to practise as much.
"I didn't play so well after those first two wins but things settled down, and I worked on my short game and was able to win at Little Aston.
"I'm really chuffed with the way things have turned out."
Hendriksen holds the course record at Little Aston and said: "I really like the course but when I bogeyed the 18th I thought that might have cost me but I found out I'd just done enough, so I'm delighted to win a third Order of Merit title."
Yelverton's Dan Rosevear equalled his home club's course-record 64 on the way to winning the Devon Open in ideal conditions at the west Devon course.
Teenager Rosevear pipped county team-mate Matt Wells (Saunton) in a play-off after they both finished on seven-under-par 135. Rosevear carded 64, 71 while Wells scored 65, 70.
Holsworthy's Dan Wood (66, 70) finished third and top professional on 136 while Yelverton's county player-captain Adam Bridgewater (73, 64) also equalled the course record to finish fourth on 137 on a day of sparkling scoring.
Gloucestershire saw off defending champions Lincolnshire 5-4 on the first day of the England Golf women's County Finals at East Devon Golf Club.
In other opening rounds, 2009 champions Lancashire beat Buckinghamshire 6-3 while Essex eased past Surrey 6½-2½.
Gloucestershire trailed 2-1 in the morning foursomes and – with games running out – had to win the last two singles to clinch the match.
England girl international Shelby Smart – the Gloucester women's champion – claimed an impressive scalp when she defeated Lincolnshire's former British champion and Curtis Cup cap Helen Hewlett by two holes.
Jo Hodge completed the turnaround when she won her game by one hole. She had been two up with two to play, ensuring a half at least for her team – but Gloucestershire wanted a win.
Team captain Karen Rix said: "Jo was a real star! It was a great start and I am really chuffed. We knew this would be tough, Lincolnshire are a good side and they have such a lot of experience."
Lancashire got off to a flying start, leading 3-0 following the morning foursomes.
Buckinghamshire, playing at a County Finals for the first time in 34 years, rallied to share the afternoon singles, but could not deny their opponents a comfortable victory as the match ended in heavy drizzle.
Lancashire captain Val Moran said: "This course is wonderful and I think the girls are finding it a really good test of golf.
"The greens are very tricky and I think that's where it's going to be won and lost."
Gloucestershire – who won the South West qualifier at Trevose in June – play Buckinghamshire today (8.30am start), Lancashire tomorrow and Surrey on Friday (both starting at 9.12am).