Review of amazing performances in May and June 2021 by East Lothian Ladies and Girls! (Copy of Press Release issued 2nd July 2021)
Hannah Darling’s performance in recent weeks has been outstanding by winning the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews, by reaching the semi-finals of both the Scottish and British Women’s Amateur Championships at Gullane and Kilmarnock Barassie respectively, and by finishing tied 2nd, at 11 under par, in the 54 hole Helen Holm Scottish Womens’ Open at Royal Troon. These performances have lifted 17 year old Hannah to a position inside the top 50 of the Womens’ World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) Hannah is in the Scottish Golf National High-Performance Squad for whom Catriona Matthew, the Solheim Cup Captain, is now a mentor. Hannah is currently in the squad for the Curtis Cup match vs. the USA on the 26th August in Wales and has committed to attending the University of South Carolina later this year. Hannah’s current handicap is +7.3 and her home Club is Broomieknowe, a parkland course. But Hannah is also member at Gullane where she has been fine tuning her game on links turf as many UK Championship events are held on such courses. Understandably, Hannah, although registered with the League, has commitments which do not leave her much time to play in our League events.
Clara Young a former Scottish Internationalist and past Womens’ Champion, and past winner of the St Rule event, has had similar success this year by finishing 2nd at the St Rule, by reaching the semi finals of the Scottish Womens’ Championship, and by finishing T8 in the Helen Holm. Clara plans on now trying to qualify for the LPGA Tour. Clara’s current handicap is +5.5.
Tara Mactaggart also had good performances in some of these events, by reaching the final of the Scottish Womens’ Championship and by also winning the East Lothian Ladies’ County Championship at North Berwick West Links. Tara will soon be trying to qualify for the Ladies European Tour. Tara’s current handicap is +5.1.
Freya Constable, still only 16 years old, won the Midlothian Ladies’ Championship, and also made the cut in the Helen Holm event. Freya also won a Scottish Junior Tour event at Royal Musselburgh as well as finishing 9th in the Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters. Freya’s current handicap is 4.
Grace Crawford’s results in making the cut in both the Scottish and British Women’s Championships as a 14 year old, and by recently winning the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Vase at Castle Park, and winning a Scottish Junior Tour event at Southerness, shows that she will be a strong contender for National Junior titles over the next 3 years. Grace is in the Scottish Golf National Performance Squad. Grace’s current handicap is +2.2.
There was a sensational match in the final of the 2020 North Berwick Ladies Club Championship which was delayed till May 2021. Clara, a 3-time winner of the East Lothian Junior League Girls’ Championship, played Grace, a winner of the same Championship in 2019. On a windy evening, they had 13 birdies and 1 eagle between them! Grace just pipped Clara by winning the 17th, 18th, and 19th holes, all with birdies!
We were hoping that some of these Players would be selected for upcoming International Team events especially for the 2021 Girls’ European Amateur Team Championships which were due to be held in Portugal in July. However, Scottish Golf has considered the latest Covid and travel information for these events and sadly the decision has been made not to send teams to any of the Boys’ Girls’ or Mens’ European Team events being held abroad. The Womens’ Team event however, which is in Northern Ireland at Royal County Down is going ahead on the 6th July, and Hannah is in the Scottish Team of 6 Players. The Girls’ and Womens’ Home Internationals are due to be held in England at Woodhall Spa on the 4th – 6th August and will likely still be going ahead. We hope that some of the above mentioned Players will be selected.
Grace recently enjoyed her first game at Muirfield, as a guest of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers during a practice round with the East Lothian and Edinburgh Junior Leagues’ Watson Cup Team. The Watson Cup is held in honour of Tom Watson and will next be played in July 2022 over the Royal Burgess, Muirfield and Gullane No.1 courses. Former European Tour Player and former Ryder Cup Vice-Captain David J. Russell is the Captain of the Team for 2022. David has the support of 4 Vice Captains, including David Rudd, a recent League Junior, who is now a Professional playing on mini-tours. The President for the Match is former Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher.
Grace and Freya are still competing in our “Free to Enter” East Lothian Junior League events, and both of them were part of a recent trip in February 2020 to Pinehurst USA which the East Lothian Junior Golf League organises annually.
We look forward to that part of the season where we can report on success in Boys’ events by the many talented Players we currently have registered as League Players.
We follow all the progress being made in the game of golf by former Players in the League, of which European Tour Player Grant Forrest and Connor Wilson, who is in the Scottish Golf National High-Performance Squad, are probably the best known of the men. Many other former League Players are attending college or universities in the USA or in the UK, and are, or will soon be, employed in the Golf industry as Greenkeepers, or in Club Management, or as Club Professionals or Assistants, as Golf Journalists, or in the Media, or even as Golf Course architects and builders.
The League would like to thank all the past and present Convenors at our Member Clubs, who have voluntarily given up their time to organise Junior Competitions and manage Club Teams for our League events. We would also like to thank East Lothian and East of Scotland Ladies Golf, the Lothians Golf Association, the Stephen Gallacher Foundation, the Scottish Junior Tour, Scottish Golf and their Development Officers, East Lothian Council and their tireless Golf Development Officer Kate Green, the Golf Foundation, the R&A, local Golf Professionals, and many others, We are indebted to the East Lothian Council, and to those Edinburgh and East Lothian Clubs who provided funding and access to quality courses on Scotland’s Golf Coast for our League events and in Edinburgh for the Watson Cup, and to those who have made contributions of their time, and/or funding, to our “not-for-profit” League over the years to make success possible. We also thank those supporters who provided free accommodation in Pinehurst, to the host courses and tournament organisers there, for welcoming our Players into their winter events every February. Around 50 Players have now experienced such a trip, subsidised to a minor extent by the League.
We have many more young and capable Players coming into our League through the Golf Foundation’s GolfSixes initiative, but we still need more funding and/or Sponsors, to take our competitive League forward to even better things in future, and to organise the fairly new Scottish Junior Team Championship. If you can help with a donation, then please get in touch with me.
Dave Warren, East Lothian Junior League Secretary.
[email protected] Cell – 07595 301425.