Delighted Jones does the unthinkable with 83

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014
Betty Jones
STACY SQUIRES/ Fairfax NZ
ON FORM: Betty Jones, aged 85, shot an 83 at Lincoln Golf Club.

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Betty Jones was annoyed there were only men's names on Lincoln Golf Club's board celebrating golfers who had shot under their age.

She even joked about doing something about it, then she did. The 85-year-old recently played well under her current handicap and fired an impressive 83.

Playing under one's age is a rare feat for male golfers, but it's virtually unheard of for women.

Lincoln spokesperson Rhonda Jacques believed Jones' could be one of only three Kiwi women to achieve the feat and the first in Canterbury.

Jones, who now plays off an 18.3 handicap, but got as low as an eight in her younger days, wasn't aware she'd shot under her age, but her nervous playing partner was.

While Jones knocked in each of her eight pars, her marker became only too well aware that the score could be something special.

But two sevens and a three-putt on the last hole at Lincoln threatened to derail the feat.

''I didn't even know,'' Jones said.

''My playing partner had been keeping an eye on it, but she thought I might have blown it.''

The club celebrated the achievement while a modest Jones didn't see what the big deal was. Jacques and the rest of the club were proud, but Jones was embarrassed at the publicity.

She'd shot lower, a pair of 79s recorded in 2004 and 2006 were the standouts, but she was a comparatively sprightly 75 and 77 when she scored those.

''I wanted to kill [Jacques] when I found out she'd told everyone. But it's good that one of the women at the club has done it now, so it's not just a man's thing,'' Jones said.

"I just think it's an amazing story that needs to be told,'' Jacques added.

''Betty curses me every time I see her at the moment because I've told so many people."

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