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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

European girls' team championship at Murcar Links

Scotland finish 17th of 19 and
don't even make Flight 2

The golfing flowers of Scotland were outclassed in the stroke-play qualifying stages of the European girls' golf team championship at Murcar Links Golf Club.
Carly Booth, Kelsey MacDonald, Rebecca Wilson and Sammy Vass collectively finished 17th in a field of 19 teams with a team total of 40-over-par 472 (and that despite discarding their worst score in each round).
Not only did they not make the top eight for the championship flight of match-play to decide who ends the week as the Under-18 girl champions of Europe. The Scots even failed to make Flight 2 for the teams finishing from ninth to 16th in the stroke-play.
Instead Scotland are down in the rock-bottom basement - a three-team Flight 3 with Iceland and Latvia. That means the Scots have only one more match. They sit out the Thursday action and play the winners of the Iceland v Latvia tie for the "honour" of being ranked 17th in Europe. Hardly what one expects from a team from the Home of Golf.
Nairn Dunbar's Kelsey MacDonald did show something of her true form, improving by six shots for a 74 but Comrie's Carly Booth, a +3 player, again underachieved with a five-over-par 77, one better than on Tuesday.
Sammy Vass from Tain improved by three shots with an 84 but Monifieth's Rebecca Wilson slumped by seven strokes to an 86.
At the sharp end of the tournament, England edged out Germany for the No 1 seeding in the championship flight, both countries finished on seven-over-par 439. The tie-breaker was a comparison of the teams' non-counting individual scores.
England's top scorers on a day when they improved on their first-round total by five shots with a score of 217 were Rachel Connor from Manchester, daughter of a Scots-born professional, and English women's champion Hannah Barwood, both with par-matching 72s.
Ireland did splendidly to qualify in sixth place with their 13-year-old twins Leona and Lisa Maguire responding to the big occasion - no nerves or stage fright here - and Sarah Cunningham and Victoria Bradshaw also pulling their weight for the team.
Wales did what the Scots couldn't do - they made it through to Flight 2 in 15th place.
Further evidence that the balance of power in female amateur golf has switched over to the Continentals was provided by the lack of GB&I players among the leading individual totals in the 36-hole stroke-play.
Katerina Ruzickova (Czech Republic) and Daisy Nielsen (Denmark) tied for the No 1 spot with one-under-par totals of 143 - one shot ahead of Maaike Naafs (Netherlands and Nicola Rossler (Germany).
The top British and Irish player was England's Rachel Connor in joint fifth place on 145. The top Scot was Kelsey MacDonald in joint 44th place on 154.


Par 432 (6 x 72)
439 ENGLAND 222 217 (Rachel Connor 73 72, Alexandra Peters 74 73, Hannah Barwood 75 72, Kelly Tider 77 74); GERMANY 220 219 (Nicola Rossler 72 72, Sophia Popov 74 75, Victoria Scherer 74 76, Marie Tschida 81 72).
442 SWITZERLAND 220 222.
443 CZECH REPUBLIC 221 222, NETHERLANDS 226 217.
444 IRELAND 222 222 (Leona Maguire 73 74, Lisa Maguire 75 74, Sarah Cunningham 76 74, Victoria Bradshaw 74 76).
446 SWEDEN 220 226.
446 DENMARK 224 223.

451 SPAIN 223 228.
452 FRANCE 222 230, ITALY 225 227.
454 AUSTRIA 224 230.
457 FINLAND 228 229.
458 BELGIUM 226 232.
461 WALES 235 226 (Amy Boulden 75 75, Katherine O'Connor 78 75, Kelly Miller 82 76, Natasha Gobey 87 85).
464 NORWAY 239 225.

472 SCOTLAND 237 235 (Kelsey MacDonald 80 74, Carly Booth 78 77, Rebecca Wilson 79 86, Sammy Vass 87 84).
478 ICELAND 236 242.
485 LATVIA 253 232.

England win top seeding for match-play stages

England won a tight battle to become top qualifiers for the match-play stages in the European girls’ team championship at Murcar Links.
All four girls played a vital part in securing the top seeding at the end of the second day of stroke-play qualifying.
After the best three scores were counted England were tied at the top of the table with Germany. Lancashire’s Rachel Connor and English champion Hannah Barwood, from Gloucestershire, had both returned level par scores while Nottinghamshire’s Alex Peters was one over par.
Their scores gave England a seven-over par total for 36 holes, tied with Germany, and the decider was a countback on the discarded scores. On both days, Lancashire’s Kelly Tidy had comfortably outplayed the German opposition. Her first round 77 was four shots better and her second round 74 was two ahead.
Now, England will play Denmark in the first match-play round and team captain Julie Brown said: “They are really up for it.” She praised her girls: “They all played really well and I am very proud of them. They went out there and did what they needed to do. They were all very professional and all supported each other.”
Lyndsey Hewison
Press Officer
English Women's Golf Association

Lyndsey Hewison