In a week of very mixed weather and, at times, impossible playing conditions, the Midlothian girls put up a great display at the 2009 Scottish Amateur Championship, being held at Southerness. On a course stretched by the SLGA to over 6000 yards, after the 2 qualifying rounds, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jane Turner (Craigielaw) and Rachael Watton (Mortonhall) finished in joint 8th place, the highest placed MCLGA members. Congratulations to Linda Caine and Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) who won the net team prize. The previously mentioned McNeil Trophy (to celebrate the Counties’ Centenaries), sadly, went to Lanarkshire!

Unfortuantely, Rachael was unable to qualify for the match play stages, needing instead to return to Edinburgh for exam commitments. Jane was joined in the match play by Fiona de Vries (St Rule), Claire Hargan (Mortonhall), Claire MacDonald (Gullane Ladies), Karen Marshall (Baberton) and Wendy Nicholson (Broomieknowe). Claire Hargan progressed following a very tense play off which involved 4 competitors playing for 2 places. One birdied the 1st play off hole (the 16th) and one bogeyed it, leaving 2 players for 1 place. At the 17th, a par 3, Claire had a 2.5 ft putt for par and to go through but the putt stayed out and down the 18th they went. A par 5, Claire was just off the front of the green in 2, with her opponent on the green in 3. Opting to putt, she tramlined it for an eagle and went through to the match play stages. Kirsten Blackwood (Craigmillar Park), Linda Caine (Dunbar) and Louise Fraser (Kingsknowe) made it through to the consolation Clark Rosebowl.

The match play stages saw more fantastic golf. Megan Briggs (Kilmacolm), playing Wendy Nicholson in the first round, was 4 under par after 5 holes and Wendy was slightly shell-shocked, playing good golf herself! Needless to say, Megan went on to win the tie. By the end of the first round Jane was the only one to survive, beating Jacqueline Sneddon (Alyth) by 3&2 and Sara Bishop (Windyhill) by 5&4. In the quarter finals this morning, Jane met Carol Wilson (Murcar Links) who had put out the no. 1 seed. Jane had the upper hand and progressed through by a 4&3 victory. She came up against Megan Briggs, still going strong after her great start against Wendy, in this afternoon’s semi-finals. Jane went 1 up at the second, only for Megan to quickly returned the score to all square at the third. Jane won the 8th and 9th to be 2 up at the turn but yet again, Megan answered by wining the 11th and 12th to return it to all square before also winning the 13th to take a 1 hole lead. Jane levelled the score at the 15th and so it stayed throughout the rest of normal play, to force extra holes. Unfortunately, it was not to be and Jane had to concede the 19th and bow out. Congratulations to Megan, who went on to win the Scottish Amateur on Saturday morning.

In the Clark Rosebowl, Linda Caine put up a great fight and unfortunately her putt on the 18th just shaved past the hole allowing her oppoonent to take the tie. Kirsten Blackwood had a fantastic first round sitting on the sidelines having been given a walkover, waiting for her afternoon opponent to appear, which she did in the shape of Louise Fraser. Louise found herself 5 up after 7 holes against Kirsten but the fightback began and after 18 holes the match was all square and headed to extra holes. Louise managing to win the 19th made it through to this morning’s semi-finals. Playing Jennifer Jenkins (Ralston), Louise played good golf to win 5&3 and meet Sammy Vass (Tain) in the final. Unfortunately, Sammy proved too strong, winning by 4&3.

Congratulations to everybody who took part this week and especially to Louise and Jane. A great display, great golf and a fantastic effort to get so close.

Scottish (Close) Amateur Championship