KirkwoodGolf: World-class opposition at Dundonald Links

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

World-class opposition at Dundonald Links



The only golf writer at this week's tournament
Without wishing to be too pessimistic, I believe the field for this week's British women's open amateur championship at Dundonald Links, Ayrshire is so strong that the 14 Scottish entries will do well to be among the 64 match-play qualifiers from the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying today and tomorrow.
Six current Curtis Cup players - five from GB and I and one from the United States - headline the field of 144 with their high world rankings.
New Scottish champion Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies), on paper, should have the best run of all the home players. but even she is looking only as far ahead as the qualifying rounds. Anything after that is a big bonus.
Other Scots - there are 14 in all - in the field are Ailsa's clubmate, Jess Meek, Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm), who played in the 2014 Curtis Cup match, Connie Jaffrey and Troon Ladies' clubmate Hazel MacGarvie, last year's Scottish champion Clara Young (North Berwick) and Gabrielle MacDonald (Craigielaw), who was the national title-winner in 2014, Gillian Paton (Royal Montrose), Heather Munro (Monifieth), Lauren Whyte (St Regulus), Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey), Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne) and two Germany-based players, Fiona Liddell, a former Scottish U18 girls champion, and Rachael Taylor who has had some good performances on the US women's college circuit over the past few years.
TODAY'S weather report from the Ayrshire links: Strongish southwesterly wind. 14.5 degrees on the temperature clock but the wind has a chill factor.

 Claire Queen, the Scot who won the Girls' British open amateur championship in 2001 and now has a performance co-ordinator role within the Scottish Golf set-up, thinks that whoever wins the "British" title on Saturday will have driven the ball long and straight all week.
"Dundonald Links, in my opinion, is a driver's course. You have to be able to drive it long and drive it straight to score over this course. With all the rain we had at the weekend, the course will be playing every one of the 6,291 yards lay-out set up by the Ladies Golf Union," said Claire who played on the Ladies European Tour for seven years before retiring in 2012.
"There's a lot of trouble if you miss the fairways."

Par-5 third is toughest hole at Dundonald Links

Dundonald Links starter Raymond Girvan, whose son Paul played in the same 1987 Walker Cup team as Colin Montgomerie and is now the boss of the Kings Links Golf Centre, Aberdeen, is warning this week's field that the par-5 third hole - 470yd from the LGU tees, is considered by Dundonald members to be the toughest hole on the links.
"Many a time in our club medals, the average score at the third is a double bogey 7. There's a ditch that used to be a stream all the way long the right hand side of the hole. If you go over that you are out of bounds," said Raymond.
"Players tend to go left to avoid that risk but there are bunkers waiting to catch them there. Even if you make it to the green in three shots, the green is another problem to be surmounted. Easiest thing in the world to three-putt there!
From the men's championship tee, the third hole measures 570yd but Girvan senior remembers caddieing for former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey whose drive was well over 300 yards and he played a No. 7 iron for his second!