Thursday, July 24, 2003

Three Scots in opening Vagliano Trophy ties

Great Britain & Ireland skipper Ada O'Sullivan is fielding three of the four Scots in her squad in her foursomes line-up for today's (Friday) opening session of play in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe at Co Louth Golf Club, north of Dublin.
There are no all-Scottish pairings. Vikki Laing from Musselburgh is teamed up with Becky Brewerton from Wales; Drumpellier's Clare Queen partners England's Fame More, and Stirling University student Lynn Kenny plays with Tricia Mangan, the only Irish player in the home squad of nine.
Anne Laing from Vale of Leven is the only GB&I player to sit out the foursomes although Ada did say earlier that all of her team were playing well and it was a difficult decision whom to leave out.
The balance of power in this biennial women's amateur international match has swung from the Great Britain & Ireland years of domination _ the Continent won only once between 1971 and 1993 - to the mainland Europeans coming into this match on a roll of four sucessive wins since 1995.
Skipper O'Sullivan admits she is under pressure to turn the tide before next year's Curtis Cup match against the United States at Formby but she is amazingly upbeat, considering that the recent European team championships in Frankfurt highlighted the fact that most of the leading players in Europe are to be found on the Continent.
"We've got excellent team spirit, no prima donnas at all. Vikki Laing and Becky Brewerton are our two strongest players. There's no doubt about that. But we have fantastic depth. I am treating everyone as an equal.
"As far as next year's Curtis Cup is concerned, I feel we do have to win the Vagliano Trophy this year from a players' point of view, from a Great Britain & Ireland point of view and also from a Ladies Golf Union point of view.
"I feel that if we can get a win under our belts over the next two days, it is going to help us enormously (in the Curtis Cup), whereas if we go into next year's Curtis Cup without a win in the Vagliano Trophy ... that's where the pressure is coming.
"We have an advantage with the match being played over a links course ... provided we use it to the best of our ability. We've been playing catch-up golf in recent Vagliano Trophy trophy matches. That is a thing we cannot afford to do tomorrow. We've have to make a good start
"I think there's always pressure on any captain of a Great Britain & Ireland team. You want your team to perform well. I honestly feel that if we don't win the Vagliano Trophy this year, then I don't know when we will.
"I've never personally played Curtis Cup or Vagliano Trophy matches but I feel that I've done my homework to the best I can actually do."
"Since our team arrived here on Monday, I would say that every single member of the team's game has improved. They've been growing in confidence each day. Rather than me give them the belief, they've all come here with the belief that they can win. It's no longer a case that they are "afraid" of the Continentals. This is our players' own backyard. Links is where they should win."

8.30 V Laing (Scotland) & B Brewerton (Wales) v D-C Schreefel (Netherlands) & E Cabrera (Spain).
8.40 F More (England) & C Queen (Scotland) v S Giquel (France) & B Hauert (Germany)
8.50 L Kenny (Scotland) & T Mangan (Ireland) v M Blomqvist (Finland) & L H Sorensen (Denmark).
9.0 D Masters (England) & E Duggleby (England) v T Elosegui (Spain) & E Serramia (Spain)