Bronia Jenkins and Bernace De Young, who formed a first-time partnership minutes before the start of the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs, led the event from start to finish, winning by 7.4 matchpoints on a 25 top.
The runners-up, Russians Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva, were in second place throughout the event. In the final, the winners scored 59.80% in the first session and 59.31% in the second.
It was the first North American championship for De Young, and the win makes her a Grand Life Master.
Jenkins had originally asked Gary Cohler to play in the Nail Life Master Pairs, but he declined, so the Jenkins-De Young partnership was formed. Cohler approached the winners after the final round and said, “Do I get credit for this?”
De Young, of Miami FL, retired last month after 35 years of practicing law. Jenkins’s current job is “taking care of my two kids.” The Vero Beach FL resident formerly worked in the foreign exchange business as an options trader, “about a thousand years ago.”
Jenkins said her partner “was great on every hand.” De Young added, “We played solid – and we bid every slam.”
The win for De Young ended 20 years of frustration. Starting in 1994, she finished second in nationally rated events four times, with four different partners before Saturday’s victory. She and Jenkins led after each of the four sessions, entering the final with a lead of about 10 matchpoints.