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Monday, May 12, 2008

Ex-champion Elaine thinks her Lossie
record of 65 could be beaten this week
It's 19 years since the Scottish women's amateur golf championship was last played at Lossiemouth.

The Aberdeen solicitor, Elaine Farquharson-Black, who broke the Moray club's Old Course women's record twice in the qualifying rounds in 1989 will be following the five-day tournament with more interest than most.

"I didn't win the title at Lossiemouth – I was beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual champion Shirley Huggan – but it's links course of which I have fond memories," says mother-of-two Elaine, an honorary member of Deeside Golf Club but a social golfer these days.

"I shaved a shot off the course record with a 74 in the first qualifying round and then lowered by another stroke with a 73 to be the leading qualifier for the match-play by something like five shots.


"I went back to Lossiemouth in 1996 to play in a KPMG Business League outing and had the putting round of my life in taking the record down to 10-under-par 65. I holed anything and everything that day.

"That record has stood since then but I would not be surprised to see some of the top players getting pretty close to a 65 if not better than that.

"Over the past 12 years, golf equipment has continued to improve. The golf balls fly better and farther…. The metal woods send the ball vast distances. I notice in the Helen Holm Scottish women's stroke-play at Troon, most of the top players can now hit all the par-5s in two shots. That's why they are now scoring in the 60s over Troon Portland, which was just no possible in my day.

"If there's no wind at Lossiemouth during the qualifying stroke-play rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, the top women players could rip the course apart. There are some short par-5s at which they could well get eagles as well as one or two short par-4s where they could drive the green if the course is drying and running."

So who does Elaine fancy to win the Scottish championship.


"I don't follow the ladies' amateur game closely enough to make a prediction but the winner will be someone who hits the ball straight and long off the tee … and holes the putts. When I had my 65, I thought the greens were needing cut so I took the borrows out of it by simply hitting my putts hard and straight at the hole. It worked for me."

Elaine, who played in the 1990 and 1992 Curtis Cup matches, won the Scottish girls' match-play title at West Kilbride in 1985 and the Scottish women's championship in 1990 at Machrihanish. She lost to Janice Moodie in the 1992 Scottish final at Balgownie

+Elaine may consider herself a social golfer but, playing in a charity tournament at the Hacienda del Alamo Golf Resort last October, she became the first lady player ever to beat the par of 72 over the Dave Thomas-designed course.. She had a 70 but overseas scores are not recognised by CONGU and so she finished the 2007 season short of a card to retain a scratch handicap. Because she did not have a current handicap she could not even consider playing in the "Scottish" at Lossiemouth this week even if just for sentimental reasons.