After what she went through 10 months ago, there could not have been a more popular 2016 Lady Club Champion of Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort than Judy Langford.
Enormous applause broke out by the 80 ladies at their presentation night last Wednesday night when the much decorated winner was announced by lady president Gloria Roome and lady captain Karen Droop.
“I was just really, really pleased for her,” record 13-time lady club champion Karen told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“Ten months ago it looked as though she wouldn’t play golf again - she had two broken wrists and a broken foot for starters and was just lying there in hospital - she was in incredible pain.
“It was Judy’s sheer willpower that got her up and going again. It was perseverance, perseverance, perseverance. I just admire her.
“When her name was read out the whole room was ecstatic that she’d won. When she came off the 18th we all started crying.” And there wasn’t a dry eye at presentation night.
In July last year, Judy’s car and a bus collided at Dederang. Her many injuries, which included 13 broken bones and six broken ribs, meant eight weeks in hospital.
This year’s club championships resulted in the ninth title for Judy, (off seven handicap) who finished on 246 for the three-round championship.
Her winning score was two strokes in front of eight-time lady champion Judy Kruger (also off seven) and three ahead of one-time champion, five-handicapper, Georgia Macklan.
In that final round, it was all square between the two Judys going down the 16th on the Murray Course.
“When Karen asked me ‘Was it tense out there?’ I said ‘No, it wasn’t’,” the slightly older runner-up said.
“We’re the best of companions. Judy’s a really good friend of mine. We just played as mates, not as rivals.
“It’s not very often you’re happy to come second (which was her 14th time). Full credit to her and for her determination. Judy really is an inspiration. She was seriously injured - just lying on her back.
“And it was good to see the ‘oldies’ finish first and second!”
The 2016 lady champion, was off a one-handicap at the time of her road accident in July last year.
“It was amazing,” Judy said of this year’s title. “I didn’t think I’d be playing golf again let alone win the club championship.”
Recalling that final round, the reigning champion said, “Georgia levelled with me on the 10th then Judy levelled with me on the 15th - they were both attacking me!”
The 54-year-old Murray Valley Private Hospital nurse in Wodonga felt very emotional before the last round of the club’s highest individual event.
“I was nervous. I was just so anxious and felt the pressure because I knew so many of the ladies wanted me to win. I was just so appreciative of their support all along the way with my situation,” Judy said.
Judy’s appreciation extended to her playing partners. “Judy was fantastic to play with, very gracious and Georgia (who’s just turned 21-years-of-age) was great,” she said.
“But it was no charity. I had to earn it.” A marvellous and deserving achievement, Judy Langford.