Monday, May 18, 2015

Jess Meek injury pull-out a blow to Angus 

hopes of home county title winner 

Angus hopes of providing a home county title winner at the 101st Scottish women's amateur golf championship at Monifieth Links this week took a knock on the eve of the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds.

Carnoustie's Jess Meek, pictured, winner of the Scottish Under-21 girls' title in 2013 and a St Rule Trophy play-off at St Andrews last year, notified SLGA officials that a wrist injury would prevent her playing.
Jess, a student at the University of Missouri, was one of nine Scottish girls who had made it back in time from their United States colleges to tee it up at Monifieth.
The others, who will play, are:
Clara Young (North Berwick), who was beaten finalist in the "Scottish" at Longniddry two years ago, Eilidh Watson (Muckhart), Nicola Robertson (Stirling), Lesley Atkins (Gullane), Rachel Polson (Peterculter), Rachel Walker (Dumfries and Co), Hannah Robb (Scotscraig)  and Katie Reid, playing over her home Monifieth course.
The county of Angus, however, still has a live title contender in Royal Montrose GC member Gillian Paton who, on Sunday, was an impressive winner of  the county women's title at Forfar.
Gillian was married last autumn. Before that, as Gillian Montieth, she had an outstanding CV in Dumfries and Galloway golf circles and still holds three course records in that area.
Moving to Angus a couple of years ago, Montieth carried on where she had left off down south. 

In 2014, Gillian won the club championships of Royal Montrose and Montrose Mercantile, the Montrose Links women's championship, the Northern women's open at Carnoustie and the Angus champion of champions title as well as being a member of the Angus team that won the Scottish county championship.
Although the Scottish women's amateur championship has a small field this year - only 67 entries - it promises to be a very competitive one with at least a dozen players capable of rising to title status if it is "their week."
It certainly was "her week" 12 months ago at Prestwick where her performance topped anything she had done previously - or since -  for St Andrews student and Craigielaw GC member Gabrielle Macdonald.

 As a 21-year-old she became national champion with a 19th hole victory in the final over Troon Ladies' Connire Jaffrey.
Gabrielle is hoping for the best in her title defence but she is playing under a physical handicap..
“It’s a wrist problem and I’ve had to have a couple of cortisone injections. Surgery was an option but, thankfully, it has been decided it is not necessary. I’ve had a lot of treatment for the injury from physiotherapists through the Scottish Institute of Sport.”
GB and I Astor Trophy team member in Australia in January, beaten finalist last May, Jaffrey misses the championship as she has not been able to get an an early release from Kansas State University, .
The field also includes rising star 15-year-old Shannon McWilliam from Aboyne, whose Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship form at Troon - she led the star-studded field with only six holes of the 54-hole tournament to go before finishing a creditable third.
Were she to win at Monifieth this week she would be the youngest ever champion since the tournament was first played in 1903.
Jane Connachan was 15 when she made her full Scotland debut but she did not win the "Scottish" title at Royal Troon until 1982 when  she was 18.
The Scottish championship opens with two stroke-play qualifying rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday from which the leading 32 competitors will go forward to sudden-death match-play from Thursday through to Saturday morning's 18-hole final.

For those who don't qualify for that, the next 16 have the option of contesting the Clark Rosebowl match-play competition.