Friday, April 23, 2010

Big weekend for Curtis Cup team selection candidates

Louise believes her 2009 form
will stand her in good stead

While aware that a strong showing in the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship over the next three days at Troon will do her no harm whatsoever, Louise Kenney is hoping the Great Britain & Ireland selectors will be paying just as much attention to last year's results when it comes to deciding on a Curtis Cup team.
That is due to be announced on Monday and Kenney, pictured by Cal Carson Golf Agency, a 27-year-old who lives in Dunfermline and is a nursery school teacher in North Queensferry, is one of the Scots in the frame for the biennial match against the Americans, to be played in early June
at Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.
"Along with everyone else, I am sure the Curtis Cup is going to be in the back of my mind this weekend but, at the same time, I think it is important not to put too much emphasis on that during the event," said Kenney, a member of Pitreavie.
"It would be nice to think the selectors are looking at results over the past year because, in topping the Scottish Order of Merit in 2009, I was never outside the top ten and, in most of the counting tournaments, finished in the top five."
Coached by Spencer Henderson, Kenney caught the Curtis Cup bug when she watched four of her then Scottish team-mates Carly Booth, Krystle Caithness, Michele Thomson and Sally Watson don the GB&I colours at St Andrews in 2008.
Watson, the only member of that quartet still in the amateur ranks, is not playing at Troon due to college studies in America but she is in the current GB&I training squad along with Kenney, Nairn Dunbar's Kelsey MacDonald and Pamela Pretswell of Bothwell Castle.
"It might be difficult to get four Scots in the team again but I certainly think a few of us deserve it," added Kenney. "To be honest, I don't think any of us know where we stand going into the Helen Holm but, in my case anyway, I am hoping results will speak for themselves."
Pretswell played for GB&I in last year's Vagliano Trophy, while MacDonald is the Scottish Under-21 Open Strokeplay champion. She also finished second at Troon 12 months ago, sandwiched in between the talented 15-year-old Irish twins, Leona and Lisa Maguire. MacDonald has taken a semester out from her sports studies degree at Stirling University in a bid to try and make the Curtis Cup and the 19-year-old is hoping she can reproduce the sort of form this weekend that saw her sign for a seven-under-par 29 back nine in winning an event in Spain earlier in the year.
"It's probably going to be the case that most of the selections are going to be based on this one event and that shouldn't be the case," she said. "However, I'm playing really well at the moment and I've come here this week to win."
Heather Stirling, in 2002, was the last Scot to achieve that feat in the Helen Holm, which sees competitors play 18 holes over Troon Portland today and tomorrow with the third and last round over Royal Troon on Sunday.
*The full article above appears in The Scotsman newspaper today.