Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Scottish Golf explains decision not to pick 

champion Ailsa for Home Internationals

Carnoustie's Ailsa Summers, winner of the Scottish women's amateur championship at West Kilbride last month, has not been included in the Scotland team of seven for the Women's Home Internationals at Conwy Golf Club, North Wales next week.
It is the first time in living memory that a Scottish champion, when available, has not been selected for the internationals.
Ailsa, a graduate of St Andrews University, works at Edinburgh Airport.
"I was available to play in the Home Internationals but I was not selected," she said.
"I don't think there is anything I can say at this point which wouldn't offend someone and I don't think it would help in any case.
"All I can say is that I have a lot of respect for all the girls who made the women's team and wish them all the very best."
Summers won the Angus women's county championship five times in a row from 2009 to 2013.
Ironically, there are two other Angus county players in the Scotland team announced today (Tuesday) - Summers' clubmate Jess Meek (Carnoustie Ladies) and Heather Munro (Monifieth)
Angus county captain Angela Campbell commented:

"I am delighted for the girls who have been selected for the Scottish team, but I am surprised and disappointed for Ailsa, as reigning Scottish champion, that she has not been selected."
Later "Scottish Golf" issued a statement, explaining why Summers was not chosen.
Steve Paulding, Scottish Golf Performance Director, said: “Ailsa Summers was available for selection for the Ladies’ Home Internationals.
“Winning the Scottish Women’s Amateur was a great achievement for her, but it does not guarantee team selection.

“Due to Ailsa's work commitments she has not played a great deal of competitive rounds this season and other players have a better overall performance record.”

The team was selected by Steve Paulding, Clare Queen (Programme Co-ordinator) and Rick Valentine (National Women’s Competition Coach).
Due to work commitments at Edinburgh Airport, Summers was not available to play for Scotland in the European team championships at the beginning of this month.
It has been suggested to me by a past Scotland team captain that Ailsa's unavailability for that tournament irked the powers that be in "Scottish Golf" and influenced the decision not to choose her for the Home Internationals.
I don't believe that is the case because nobody in authority could be that petty, and not field the strongest line-up available, could they?
Ailsa Summers is a true blue amateur. She works for a living. She will never turn professional. That does not fit in well with those who want leading amateurs to be full-timers on their way to the pro ranks.
In my opinion, the Scottish women's amateur championship has been downgraded at a stroke by the selectors' failure to pick the champion of Scotland.
Down through the years, winning the Scottish title has opened doors for the champion. In Ailsa Summers' case, it closed one in her face.
For the first time, the Ladies Golf Union are staging the women's and the girls' internationals at the same venue and on the same dates - August 3 to 5. The number in each team has been reduced from eight to seven.
The Scotland teams will be:
Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm)
Chloe Goadby (St Regulus)
Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies)
Jess Meek (Carnoustie Ladies)
Heather Munro (Monifieth)
Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey)
Clara Young (North Berwick)


Louise Duncan (West Kilbride)
Jillian Farrell (Cardross)
Joanne Free (Gullane Ladies)
Hazel MacGarvie (Troon Ladies)
Jasmine Mackintosh (Hazlehead)
Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne)
Jennifer Rankine (Haggs Castle

Love to hear from Scottish Golf what is going on. Downgrading women's and girls' tournaments, changing conditions after entry, making young girls play 36 holes in sweltering heat, putting up entry fees whilst removing prize vouchers, removing live scoring, not even turning up to present the prizes, leaving your champion (and runner-up) out of Home Internationals team which downgrades the importance of our championships even more, devaluing county golf and volunteers ............ Total disrespect for women's golf. 
And yes, before you say anything, I was part of the amalgamation working group. But we all have our regrets in life!

Totally agree with the comment that the Scottish women's amateur championship has been downgraded at a stroke by the selectors' failure to pick the champion for the forthcoming Home Internationals.
Only one of the last four standing at the "Scottish" has been picked.
Quite out of the ordinary!
I am sure this will provoke plenty of discussion over the coming weeks, starting at the Mackie Bowl on Sunday at Gullane!