EUROPE’S TOP GIRL GOLFERS CONTEST NEW SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP
Some of the best young female golfers from across Europe are in Scotland next week to compete in the inaugural Scottish Girls Open Stroke Play Championship.
The brand new event for under 18s, which is set to become one of the most important on the calendar, takes place at Strathmore Golf Centre in Alyth, from Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 April, running alongside the Scottish Boys Championship at Murcar Links.
A full international field of 102 players will compete over 54 holes on the par 72 Rannaleroch course in a bid to be crowned the first-ever Scottish Girls’ Open Champion and gain valuable world ranking points.
Strathmore was previously home to the Scottish Under-16 Girls Championship and last year’s winner, leading English golfer, Hollie Muse, returns as favourite to the Perthshire course, as part of a strong England Golf’s representation, which also includes six top-10 finishers from 2015. In all, nine European countries will be represented at the tournament.
The 42 Scots in the field are headed up by the 2015 Scottish Women’s Order of Merit winner Shannon McWilliam from Aboyne Golf Club. The 16 year-old top-ranked home player was runner-up to Hollie Muse in last year’s Scottish Under-16 Girls Championship and has already started the season strongly winning the opening national Junior Tour event at Forrester Park last weekend.
She said: “I’m very excited as it’s a new competition and it’s being played on my favourite course. I love Strathmore. Hollie (Muse) will be one my biggest rivals at the championship, but we have known each other for years so it’s very much will be a friendly rivalry.
“I haven’t had too much chance to practice much over the winter due to the flooding in Aboyne, but I am up for the challenge as I won my first event of the year last weekend. My golf was good considering my lack of practice and it gave me a chance to assess my weaknesses and improve on my game for this championship.”
Among the other home favourites teeing up at Strathmore will be Jillian Farrell (Cardross), Joanne Free (Gullane Ladies), Molly Richmond (Strathaven), Claire Robertson (Carnoustie Ladies) and Hazel MacGarvie from Ladies Golf Club Troon, a member of the Great Britain & Ireland Junior Vagliano team last year.
Steve Paulding, Scottish Golf’s Performance Director, said: “The new event promises to be a fantastic addition to the girls’ circuit and will give our players the opportunity to benchmark themselves against some of the continent’s best players early in the season.
“It’s great to have the boys and girls competing in major events in the same week and I’m sure the Scottish players are really looking forward to transferring their winter preparation into competitive play at Strathmore next week.”