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Friday, June 13, 2008

They meet in third round on Saturday morning


Crieff’s Roseanne Niven and Pamela Pretswell (Bothwell Castle) are both 19. They have something else in common - they are the only Scots still standing in the last 16 of the British women’s open amateur golf championship at North Berwick.
The disappointing news is that the luck of the draw decrees that they will tee off against each other at 9.40 on Saturday morning.
Niven, a former Scottish girls’ match-play champion and 14th of the 64 match-play qualifiers, beat France’s Andre Lucie by 2 and 1 and followed that up with a similar margin win over Curtis Cup reserve Sarah Hassan (Vale of Glamorgan) to reach the third round.
The University of California-Berkeley student edged one up after seven holes against Hassan and had doubled that lead after 14 holes.
Pretswell, the Scottish universities champion, knocked over Germany’s Pia Halbig by 2 and 1 and then put in gritty performance to win at the 20th against the No 3 seed from Sweden, Camilla Lennarth.
Pamela, the No 30 qualifier, was twice one down on the outward half but hung on in there and holed a 25ft putt from just off the back of the 18th green for a birdie 3 to take the tie into extra holes. The Scot looked on her way out of the championship at the 20th where her second shot was under the lip of a greenside bunker.
“I just swung as hard as I could and hoped for the best and was amazed when the ball came out of the sand to stop only inches from the hole. It was a gimme for a par and when Camilla missed from 6ft, it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” said a delighted Pamela.
Unluckiest Scots loser of the day was 15-year-old Carly Booth. The Curtis Cupper from Comrie broke down in tears after her French-Canadian opponent Maude-Aimee Leblanc pitched into the hole from 60ft for an eagle 2 at the last.
All square on the 18th tee, Carly had looked certain to win when, at her favourite driving hole, she drilled her tee shot 270yd to within five or six feet of the flagstick while Leblanc was short of the green and at least 20 yards from the hole..
But Leblanc, winner of the prestigious Junior the 10th Orange Bowl girls’ title in Florida in 2006, dramatically holed her pitch for an eagle 2 and the stunned Carly missed her a putt for a half. To be fair to the Canadian, she was never behind in the match and was twice one up before Carly squared the contest “with a birdie 2 from 15ft at the short 15th.
Scottish champion and Curtis Cup player Michele Thomson from Ellon was one up on the 18th tee against another Canadian, Kira Meixner, on the 18th tee with a place in the third round hers for the taking. But the big-hitting Michele went out of bounds with her drive, lost her lead and finally bowed out with a bogey 5 at the 20th.
Almost as unlucky as Carly Booth was fellow Perthshire player, Emily Ogilvy from Auchterder. Emily played out of her skin was two or three under par for 17 holes – but lost to a magnificent, five-under-par performance from the top seed, Caroline Hedwall of Sweden.
Caroline even threw a hole in one at the 163yd 10th at the hapless Ogilvy who had had five birdies of her own in reaching the turn all square.
“I felt I could have beaten most players in the field the way I was playing. Just my bad luck to be drawn against Caroline Hedwall in the form that has given her a +5.4 handicap,” smiled Emily.
St Rule Trophy winner Kylie Walker (Buchanan Castle) lost by 4 and 2 to Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist who has lost in the last two finals of this championship.
8.30 C Hedwall v J Ewart.
8.40 Loucks v Leblanc.
8.50 Boineau v Derrey.
9.00 Meixner v J Hedwall.
9.10 Pretswell v Niven.
9.20 Endstrasser v Munoz.
9.30 Nordqvist v Ralph.
9.40 Masson v Hernandez.
1pm, 1.15, 1.30 and 1.45.