The site for
golf news
you can't find
anywhere else!
Webmaster: Gillian Kirkwood
Contributing Editor: Colin Farquharson

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Scot bows out of British girls championship

Eve Muirhead meets her Waterloo
against talented top seed Laura

British girls championship top seed Laura Gonzalez-Escallon from the Royal Waterloo club, Belgium, ended the glory run of Great Britain Winter Olympics curling squad member Eve Muirhead of Dunkeld in the round of the last 16 this morning at Monifieth.
With the flooded Ashludie Burn subsiding enough to allow access to the sixth and seventh holes over one of the low-level brides, an 18-hole course was in operation for the first time in the match-play stages.
Laura was the first player to reach the quarter-finals, beating Eve, a member of Pitlochry Golf Club, by a 4 and 3 margin, having been two up at the turn.
Gonzalez-Escallon was roughly two under par and never trailed after taking the lead with a par 4 at the third.
Muirhead did square the contest at the short fifth but her opponent climbed into the driving seat with birdies at the the seventh (15ft putt) and eighth (5ft putt) to be two up at the turn.
A par at the 10th was good enough to see the Belgian player increase her lead to three holes and she got her third winning birdie of the round at the 12th.
Muirhead won back the 13th where Gonzalez-Escallon was short with her approach but the Scot missed a 5ft putt to lose the 14th and a half ended the match on the 15th green.
"Laura hit the ball really well and she hits it a mile off the tee," said Eve. "I didn't get any birdies today, compared with quite a few in the first two rounds but I didn't play all that badly. To be the only Scot in the last 16 was more than I hoped for at the start of the championship so I've enjoyed myself.
"Now I'm looking forward to helping Perth & Kinross win the Scottish women's county finals at Inchmarlo Golf Centre in a few weeks."
It is not written down anywhere that you cannot be international class in two sports but one just wonders how good a golfer Eve Muirhead could be if she focused on golf, especially with the 2010 Winter Olympics looming up on the horizon. It's not going to happen but it is still an intriguing thought.
In the quarter-finals, Laura Gonzalez-Escallon will meet Louise Larsson, the No 56 qualifier from Sweden. Louise beat the No 8 seed, 14-year-old Alexandra Peters (Notts Ladies) by 3 and 2.
Louise was one up at the turn and doubled that lead by the 15th.
The second quarter-final this afternoon features Israeli women's champion Laetitia Beck and Johanna Tillstrom from Sweden.
Laetitia, the No 5 seed, won by two holes against Krista Puisite from Latvia, the No 53 qualifier, after being four up at the turn.
Krista staged a rousing fightback to be all square after 15 holes but Laetia edged ahead again to be one up on the 18th tee. She won the last to clinch a place in the last eight.
Johanna, the No 20 qualifier, scored a good 2 and 1 win over the 29th qualifier Giulia Molinaro (Italy).
Giuila, a student at the IMG David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Florida, was the leading girl in last year's The Duke of York Young Champions' Trophy at Dundonald Links.
Tillstrom took a grip on the proceeding by going three up on the outward half. Molinaro got one hole back after the turn but ran out of holes on the inward stretch.
Germany's Sophia Popov came back from three down after nine holes and still three down on the 16th tee to beat English girls champion Sarah Tyson (Redlibbets) at the 19th.
Popov, the 14th qualifier holed putts ranging from 10 feet to 20ft to win the 16th, 17th and 18th to square the match with a hat-trick of birdies- and she completed her comeback by sinking a six-footer for a fourth birdie in a row for victory at the first extra hole after Sarah had missed from 8ft.
Sarah came through a resumed play-off at 6.15am on Wednesday to be the 62nd of 64 qualifiers.
Germany's Sophia Popov was guaranteed to play another English girl in the afternoon - the winner of an enthralling tie between Ellie Robinson (Middlesbrough Brass Castle) and Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale).
Kelly, last year's beaten finalist and the No 6 seed this week, was two up after nine holes but Ellie, the 43rd qualifier, hit back to square the tie by the 15th. One up after 17, Ellie took three shots in a bunker to lose the 18th.
Robinson was bunkered again at the 19th and could not match Tidy's par 4.
Spain has only one representative in the quarter-finals - Mandy Goyos who beat the No 18 qualifier, US- based Sherlyn Popelka (Switzerland), by 4 and 3.
Goyos, who qualified in 58th position, had been two up at the turn.
Mandy's quarter-final opponent is Charlotte Lorentzen, the 18th qualifier from Denmark. Charlotte toppled the No 2 seed, Spain's Ana Fernandez de Mesa, by 1 hole.
Lorentzen always had the edge, leading by one hole through the ninth, 15th and 17th.
The Spanish player, needing to win the last to take the tie into extra holes, bunkered her third shot and Lorentzen won the day.
Today's results

L Gonzalez-Escallon (Bel) bt E Muirhead (Pitlochry) 4 and 3.
L Larsson (Swe) bt A Peters (Notts Ladies) 3 and 2.
L Beck (Isr) bt K Puisite (Lat) 2 holes.
J Tillstrom (Swe) bt G Molinaro (Ita) 2 and 1.

S Popov (Ger) bt S Tyson (Redlibbets) at 19th.
K Tidy (Royal Birkdale) bt E Robinson (Middlesbrough) at 19th.
M Goyos (Spa) bt S Popelka (Swi) 4 and 3.
C Lorentzen (Den) bt A Fernandez de Mesa (Spa) 1 hole.