Alison Nicholas MBE has won this year’s WPGA Order of Merit title - but was in the USA when she heard the news.
The former European Tour and Solheim Cup star has made a successful return to the sport after a break following health problems.
Midlander Nicholas played in the WPGA One Day Series in a bid to build up form for the US Seniors Tour.
And her victories in the opening rounds at Little Aston in Birmingham and Derby’s Kedleston Park earned her enough points to take the Order of Merit crown.
Nicholas, of Hagley Golf Club, did not compete in the final round of the series at Three Rivers Golf Club in Essex as she was already in the States.
The event was won by 15-year-old England Golf player Rebecca Earl from Bishop’s Stortford, with level par 74, who also won the previous event at South Herts Golf Club.
But Nicholas had already done enough to win overall despite challenges from Chase Golf Club’s Katrina Holford and Sian Evans of Kings Hill Golf Club.
Speaking from Kentucky where she is preparing for a tournament, Nicholas said: “I was quite surprised to win the Order of Merit.
“I really just wanted to get back to playing again after a break from the game and wanted to see if I could play decent golf this year before playing in the US.
“I was happy enough to win the two events although I know I didn’t play well at Dunham Forest.
“So I did what I set out to do with the added bonus of winning the Order of Merit which I didn’t expect.”
Nicholas has just released her autobiography entitled Walking Tall which is available from online outlets.
“It’s the story of my golfing life,” she explained.
“The book’s only just come out so I hope people will read it and enjoy it.”
Nicholas is a former Open and US Open champion and won 12 events on the Ladies European Tour.
She also competed in six European Solheim Cup teams as well as being captain in 2009 and 2011.
Now she is looking to build on her season in England by competing in the USA.
“I was never going to play in all of the One Day Series events,” added Nicholas.
“Some of them were too far to travel to, so it was a case of making the most of the ones I did play in.”