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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Three times Scottish champion Anne Laing puts her fingers in her ears on the fifth green as two Tornadoes hurtle over her head at Lossiemouth today (image by Cal Carson Golf Agency, all rights reserved).
Claire and Kylie flying high as Tornadoes

blast over Lossiemouth Links

Playing partners Mortonhall’s Claire Hargan and Kylie Walker (Buchanan Castle) did some high flying of their own as they ignored the Tornadoes taking off from the next door RAF Lossiemouth to share the lead on three-under-par 73s at the end of first qualifying round in the 93rd Scottish women’s amateur championship over the Moray Golf Club Old Course at Lossiemouth today.
On a gloriously sunny day it was a game of two halves for everyone except the pilots in their multi-million pound flying machines who periodically whistled very noisely over the competitors’ heads.
A wind-assisted first half followed by most of the inward half into a cool breeze from the east was reflected in most of the returns.
For Hargan and Walker it was a case of “What planes?” as they became engrossed in their ground work.
Hargan, bouncing back from losing her Midlothian county title recently, made her score by covering the first nine holes in four-under-par 34, Kyle being 35 for the same stretch.
Curiously enough, not everyone found the inward half more difficult. Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar), the backmarker in the field with a +2 rating, returned a 75, thanks to being two-under-par (36) after the turn. Likewise Claire-Marie Carlton (Fereneze) who came home in 35 for her 75.
Not all the fancied players made hay while the sun shone.
Michele Thomson (McDonald Ellon), the only one of the four Scots named for Curtis Cup duty at the end of the month – the three others are in the United States, lost a ball off her first tee shot and was in two bunkers at the second for a bogey-double bogey start. Out in 42, Michele finished with a three-over 79 but she thought she played well after her bad start.

She actually got a birdie 3 with her second ball in play at the first and will have a go at driving the green again in the second round. Michele was level par for the remaining 16 holes, with one eagle and two bogeys.

"It's all about qualifying for the match-play. Nothing else really matters," said Michele.
Emily Ogilvy (Auchterarder), beaten in the final by Jenna Wilson (Strathaven), now a professional, at Barassie 12 months ago, marked up an 84. She too lost a ball of her ambitious first drive and started double bogey-bogey.
Young Julie Vass from Tain upstaged her older sister Sammy by returning an 82, despite finishing 7-5-4- against the par of 4-5-4. Sammy finished earlier on 83.

The leading 32 players at the end of Wednesday’s second qualifying round will advance to the match-play stages. At the moment, it looks like being a play-off on 168 of 169.