The week commenced on Monday 16th May with a practice day which greeted the ladies with some atrocious weather conditions, however there was a warmer welcome in the Clubhouse with afternoon teas provided by the Machrihanish Ladies. Captain, Frank McHardy along with the Ladies Captain, Valerie Mackay also welcomed all visitors and officials on the Monday evening preceding the competition.
Tuesday and Wednesday dished up quite contrasting weather conditions for the two qualifying rounds which would serve the purpose of separating the 86 competitors into the top 32 competing to be Scottish Women's Amateur Champion and a second flight of 16 competing for the Clark Rosebowl.
Megan Briggs of Kilmacolm, took advantage of the more benign conditions on Tuesday to finish on top after round one, with a score of 71, closely followed by Kelsey MacDonald from Nairn Dunbar, and Lauren Whyte from St Regulus who both had a 71. Lauren,s round included an incredible 2 at the 13th!
Rachael Watton from Mortonhall and Noreen Fenton from Dunbar coped best with the more challenging conditions on the second day to both finish with a 77.
A number of local ladies took part in the event with Lindsay Ramsay representing Carradale, Ailie MacBrayne from Dunaverty, and the home Club trio of Eleanor Hawkins, Valerie Mackay and Ann Gallacher.
Ladies Captain, Valerie Mackay in the final group on Tuesday had an excellent round of 87 including an eagle at the 7th. Buoyed up by her first round performance and the added advantage of having an experienced caddy on her bag, Valerie scored a creditable 91 on Wednesday to make the cut to compete in the last 16 for the Clark Rosebowl.
Rachel Hanlon of St Regulus and Ailsa Bain of Peebles were the two who progressed to the final of the Clark Rosebowl, however it was Bain who picked up momentum in the back nine after being down earlier in the round to remain 1 hole up after the 18th and take the win.
In the main event the last 32 was packed with players at the top end of the order of merit for last year including the number one, Kelsey MacDonald and number 4, Megan Briggs.
However it was Megan's sister Eilidh who knocked out MacDonald in the quarter final stages to set up a bit of sibling rivalry for the semi.
In the first semi-final between sisters Eilidh and Megan Briggs from Kilmacolm Golf Club, Megan birdied the first two holes, however that was only enough to take a one hole lead. Birdie's by younger sister Eilidh at the 4th and 6th holes quickly turned the match in her favour and a par at the 8th hole was enough to give Eilidh a two hole advantage. The next five holes were halved in pars before Megan squared the match with a birdie at the 400 yard par four 14th hole and par at the par three 15th. However, pars from Eilidh at 16 and 17 were enough to win both holes and win the match by 2 & 1.
Eilidh was approximately three under par in winning the match by 2 & 1.
The second semi-final between Pitreavie's Louise Kenney and Jane Turner from Craigielaw was another excellent match. The players exchanged birdies at the first and second holes but Louise pulled two holes clear after a par on the 3rd hole and birdie four on the par five 7th. The next five holes were halved, before Louise once again put on the pressure with another birdie at the 13th and two holes later the match was over when a bogey was enough for Louise to win the hole and the match.
Louise Kenney was approximately two under par in winning the match by 4 & 3.
The final was played in atrocious weather conditions, however Louise parred the first five holes and that was enough to give her a 2 hole advantage. Eilidh birdied the sixth to half the deficit but an eagle at the par five seventh hole restored Louise's two hole lead. The eighth and ninth holes were exchanged before Louise won the next two holes to increase her lead to four. Halves followed at the 12th and 13th holes but a bogey at the 14th was enough for Louise to win the hole and completed a 5 & 4 victory.
The victory was "third time lucky" for the Dunfermline schoolteacher who has contested two previous finals with Megan Briggs and Kelsey MacDonald. Louise, talking after the final said that a lot of things had come together in the final and that she had been relaxed on the course after a good start in the final.
The Scottish Ladies Golf Association expressed their thanks to the Machrihanish Golf Club for a wonderful week which was a great success due to the input of all club staff on the course, in the clubhouse, and the ProShop. Particular thanks was extended to all volunteers who assisted with live scoring and ball spotting, along with all the spectators who took the time to come and support the event.
The fixture list continues at Machrihanish on Saturday with the J W Logan Memorial Trophy.
21 May 2011