KirkwoodGolf: Ellon player's decision to come home from US college has paid off

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ellon player's decision to come home from US college has paid off


Seven months ago teenager Michele Thomson cut short a four-year golf scholarship at Jacksonville State University, Alabama and came home to Ellon.
“I felt my golf was going backwards because the university did not have what we would call a golf coach, somebody to check my swing and technique on a regular basis and give advice,” said Michele (pictured left) at the time.
That she made the right decision was confirmed today by being named No 1 in the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association’s latest list of player rankings. Aberdeenshire champion Michele is No 1, ahead of Heather MacRae (Dunblane New) and Carly Booth (Comrie) and even Scottish champion Jenna Wilson (Strathaven).
The rankings are based on players’ scores in relation to the competitive standard scratch score of the day at designated tournaments. Michele has averaged a score of 1.6 UNDER the CSS for every counting round. That is very good golf indeed.
Michele was No 2 qualifier in the Scottish women’s championship at Barassie and reached the semi-finals before going out but, arguably, her best performance of the season was to reach the quarter-finals of the British women’s open amateur championship at Alwoodley and take the Spanish girl who went on to win the title, Carlota Ciganda, to the 18th green.
British events are not among the SLGA designated tournaments for rankings’ scores.
“It’s Michele’s consistency in tournaments that has lifted her to the top of rankings,” said her father Graham, an oil executive, meantime in Jakarta.
“She had a handicap of one when she was in the States. Currently, she is +1, so that shows how much she has improved as well.”
Long-hitting Miss Thomson has certainly impressed two different sets of selectors – she gained her first full cap for Scotland in the European women’s team championship in Italy and was named a Great Britain & Ireland team reserve for this weekend’s Vagliano Trophy match at Fairmont St Andrews.
In the girls’ rankings, Carly Booth is No 1 ahead of Jane Turner (Mortonhall) and Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) with Nairn Dunbar’s Kelsey MacDonald in the No 4 position.
Last word from Michele:
“Although I believe with the help of coaches Neil Marr and Ross Cameron I have improved this year I still consider myself someway behind Jenna Wilson and Heather MacRae because they have actually won national championships this year.
"I enjoy their company and with now being Scotland team mates of theirs I am learning so much more from them. Hopefully I can turn this into learning into winning championships next year.”

Latest SLGA rankings (log on to the SLGA website to see what each player's average score has been in relation to CSS).

1 Michele Thomson (McDonald Ellon), 2 Heather MacRae (Dunblane New), 3 Carly Booth (Comrie), 4 Jenna Wilson (Strathaven), 4 Krystle Caithness (St Regulus), 6 Emily Ogilvy (Auchterarder), 7 Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar), 8 Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle), 9 Rachael Livingstone (Musselburgh Old), 10 Sara Bishop (Cochrane Castle).
11 Kelly Brotherton (Tulliallan), 12 Rebecca Wilson (Monifieth), 13 Roseanne Niven (Crieff), 14 Jocelyn Carthew (Ladybank), 15 Megan Briggs (Kilmacolm), 16 Martine Pow (Selkirk), 17 Clare-Marie Carlton (Fereneze), 18 Elaine Moffat (St Regulus), 19 Laura Murray (Alford), 20 Kerri Harper (Inverness).

1 Carly Booth (Comrie), 2 Jane Turner (Mortonhall), 3 Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle), 4 Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar), 5 Lindsey Hunter (Dalmahoy), 6 Roseanne Niven (Crieff), 7 Megan Briggs (Kilmacolm), 8 Rebecca Wilson (Monifieth), 9 Rebecca Watson (Elie & Earlsferry Ladies), 10 Sammy Vass (Tain).
11 Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm), 12 Jill Meldrum (Dullatur), 13 Eve Muirhead (Pitlochry), 14 Gillian Monteith (Portpatrick Dunskey), 15 Jacqueline Sneddon (Alyth), 16 Isla Craigie (Torwoodlee), 17 Samantha Leslie (Westhill), 18 Louise MacGregor (Falkirk), 19 Susan Jackson (Fife), 20 Lauren MacCallum (McDonald Ellon).