Sunday, May 18, 2003


Jessie Valentine, at 88 the oldest surviving Scottish women's amateur golf champion, was unable to attend the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association's dinner at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews on Saturday night to mark the centenary of the Scottish women's championship which starts over the Old Course on Monday morning with the final on Friday morning.
The 1903 championship was also played over the Old Course.
A former British champion as well as six times Scottish title-winner between 1938 and 1956, Mrs Valentine, a member of Craigie Hill Golf Club, Perth all her life, is a resident at a Bridge of Earn nursing home. The medical opinion was that the travel and the excitement of meeting so many of her old friends and the late hours of the dinner would not be advisable.
In her absence, Jessie was given a standing ovation when her name was read out by SLGA chairman Ethel Farquharson at the parade of champions at the start of the dinner.
Nineteen past champions were able to present among a total of 179 guests from all parts of Scotland.
The former title-winners in attendance were (maiden name in year of victory in brackets):
Fiona Anderson (1987), Heather Anderson (1969), Jane Connachan (1982), Alison (Rose) Davidson (1997), Elaine Farquharson-Black (1990), Alison Gemmill (1981 & 1985), Lesley (Hope) Johnston (1975), Lynn Kenny (2000), Anne Laing (1996), Joan Lawrence (1962-64), Elaine Moffat (1998), Joan (Hastings) Rennie (1967), Belle Robertson (1965,1966,1971, 1972, 1978,1980, 1986), Dorothea (Sommerville) Hastings (1958), Marigold Speir (1957), Jayne Smith (1999), Gillian Stewart (1978, 1983-84), Dr Aileen Wilson (1974), Janette Wright (1959-61,1973).
Alan McGregor, general manager of St Andrews Links Trust, James Hamilton of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, Sue Johnson, president of the Ladies Golf Union and Hugh Hunter, president of the Scottish Golf Union were the principal guests.