Thursday, September 11, 2003


Scotland looked on course for their first win over England in the women's home internationals since 1991 when they led 3-0 after the foursomes at cool and windy Cruden Bay on Thursday.
But it was pride before a fall for skipper Elaine Farquharson-Black's team. The English came storming back to take the singles 4 1/2-1 1/2 and draw 4 1/2-4 1/2.
In fact it took a brave putt from 5ft by Stirling University student Lesley Mackay from Golspie to win the last hole and get a square match with Kerry Smith which tied the overall scoreline.
"We've never made a 3-0 clean sweep over England in the foursomes before so it is really disappointing that we let such a great chance to beat them slip through our hands," said Elaine who played in last team to beat Scotland at Aberdovey 12 years ago.
"The wind got up but we had practised enough in these conditions and should have been able to cope. It was our putting that let us down. We had far too many three putts.
"But it's not over yet. We've got to out and finish with as big a win over Wales as we can. Then we have to hope that England can beat Ireland and we can win a holes-up tiebreaker this time. We lost to the English on a countback last year."
The solitary winner for Scotland in the afternoon gloom was young Heather MacRae from Dunblane, one of the four players flown home at great expense by the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association from American colleges to play at Cruden Bay.
Heather Macrae made it three wins out of three by beating Sara Garbutt (Ganton) by 6 and 5 after winning the first, third and fourth holes and then four holes out of five from the eighth.
"I never felt nervous. In fact I enjoyed it," said Heather.
Lesley Mackay looked for a long time like getting the second singles point that Scotland needed for that long awaited win over England. She was two up after three and still three up with seven to play.
Then Kerry Smith, one of the most experienced English players, came back at her with wins at the 12th, 15th, 16th and 17th to be one up with one to play. Then Kerry surprisingly shanked her approach, just missing the green on the right. From there she amazingly putted right over the putting surface and off the other side.
Meanwhile, Lesley just off the back right corner of the green, putted down to within 5ft of the hole. After Kerry Smith could do no better than a bogey 5, Lesley rattled in her knee-knocker of a putt to win the hole, square her match and tie the whole Scotland-England contest.
There were disappointing defeats in the singles for the big names in the Scotland line-up - champion Anne Laing, Clare Queen and Lynn Kenny - all Vagliano Trophy team players, as well as American college student Louise Kenney.
Ireland beat Wales 5-4 after shading the foursomes 2-1 and taking the top singles with a fine 2 and 1 win by Tricia Mangan over the young Welsh ace Becky Brewerton.


Scottish champion Anne Laing lost her 100 per cent record at the hands of Emma Duggleby who won the top singles by 6 and 4. Emma was never behind after winning the second and fourth holes. The English champion virtually clinched victory by winning the ninth, 10th and 11 holes to go four up. After a half at the 12th, Emma finished off her opponent by winning the 13th and the 14th with a birdie 3.
Heather MacRae made it three wins out of three for Scotland with a 6 and 5 win over Sara Garbutt. Heather took a grip on the proceedings by winning the first, third and fourth. Sara won back the sixth with a bogey but the Scottis player reasserted her superiority on the day by winning the eighth and ninth and then the 11th, 12th and 13th.
Fame More put a second singles point on the board for England by beating Louise Kenney 4 and 3. The lead was exchanged several times on the outward half but Fame never looked back after squaring the match at the eighth. She birdied the ninth to show one ahead and then won the 11th with a bogey and the 12th with a birdie to go three up. She clinched the match with a par 4 at the 15th.
Alex Keighley had a good 4 and 3 win over Vagliano Trophy team player Clare Queen after winning the second, third and fourth holes. After a fightback by the Scot, Alex won three holes in a row from the eighth to go four up and she was never really threatened after that.
Nicola Timmins beat another Vagliano Trophy player Lynn Kenny by 4 and 3 after being at one best one over the outward holes but taking charge after the turn. Nicola won the 12th, 13th and 14th to go four up and a half at the 15th was enough to settle the tie.
It all boiled down to the last match to finish. Scotland's Lesley Mackay was three up on Kerry Smith on the 12th tee but the English player won back the 12th, 15th and 16th, the first two with birdie putts.
Kerry then led for the first time with a birdie 4 at the 17th but she took 5 down the last and Lesley, with a two-putt par 4, won the hole to halve the her match and the overall contest against England.