Tuesday, May 20, 2003


Scottish Ladies Golfing Association officials were due to be cracking the whip at St Andrews on Tuesday after a capacity field of 132 took an agonising 11 1/2hr to complete the first qualifying round of the Centenary Scottish women's amateur championship over the Old Course on Monday.
The final players to finish had been out on the course for 5hr 47min before they came off the 18th green.
Part of the reason for the crawl was a misunderstanding among the St Andrews Links Trust staff of course rangers, well used to speeding along visiting golfers, particularly Americans, who would spend all day on a round if left to their own devices.
The course rangers were under the impression that they were not to perform their usual duties, leaving that to the team of SLGA referees who spent the day out on the links.
It was not clear if any players were warned for slow play through a long day when the scores ranged from Anne Laing's brilliant four-under-par 72 to three-figure returns.
It was decided to advance the start of play on Tuesday from 8am to 7.30 in an effort to save time in the early evening before the traditional clubhouse function at which prizes are awarded for the best scratch and handicap scores returned in the qualifying rounds.
A total of 32 players will qualify at the end of the second round for the match-play stages which begin on Wednesday morning.
The next 16 best scratch 36-hole totals, if the players wish, will go into the Clark Rosebowl subsidiary match-play competition.