EMMA Duggleby is queen of York - ten years after her last reign.

North Yorkshire's most successful woman international golfer returned after a decade's absence to compete in the York Union of Golf Clubs' Ladies Championships, which she last won in 1997.

And it proved a stunning comeback for the Malton and Norton Golf Club ace. The former Great Britain champion and Curtis Cup star, who plays off plus three, carded a course record three-under-par 70 at Easingwold GC in conditions that would have bested most players to win by five strokes from runner-up and club-mate Judy Butler, who also broke the previous course record.

The conquest proved to be the third Union crown for Duggleby, who won consecutive titles in 1996 and 1997.

Since then Duggleby's international commitments have ruled her out of starring in the York event.

"The championships always seemed to clash with the European Team championships for which I represented Great Britain, but because I have quit the international scene this year I was able to take part," she said, "And it was great to win the trophy again after such a long time. We played most of the round in torrential rain, but I played well. I got off to a flier by starting with a birdie three on the first hole."

A dropped shot at the short par-three fifth was followed by birdies on holes seven and nine to be two under at the turn. There were further birdies at the tenth and 14th holes, with a bogey on the penultimate hole marring an otherwise perfect inward nine. But the final score of 70, which was five clear of four-handicapper Butler - winner of the title in 2004 and 2005 - bettered the Ladies' amateur course record at Easingwold by seven strokes.

It also put Duggleby in good heart for next week's British Mid-Amateur women's championship at Fulford Heath.

The York Union Ladies Championship was one of three trophies played for on the day.

In the high handicap bronze division, Linda Foxcroft (27) of Forest Park GC, won with 72, one clear of host club player Gilly Cliff (26).

Kate Miller (18 handicap), from Malton and Norton, set the early pace in the silver division for handicaps up to 20, who compete for both the Championship (the best gross score) and the silver division trophy (best net).

She returned a nett 73 and led the ratings for most of the day, but ultimately had to settle for runner-up position after Liz Timmis (19) of Aldwark Manor GC posted a 71 to win the trophy .

The competition was the first Union event for ladies in which "pace of play" conditions and penalties were in force. Though not everyone was in agreement with the initiative, most players thought it a good idea and generally accepted the change, to the extent that even the last group out completed their rounds in under four hours.