Monday, April 19, 2010

Helen Holm Scottish women's 'major' starts on Friday

Leona Maguire from the Slieve Russell Club, only 14 years of age at the time of last year's "Helen Holm" triumph at Troon. Twin sister Lisa was officially placed third (image by Cal Carson Golf Agency).

Continentals' conundrum: How to get to

Troon in time for Thursday practice

This weekend's Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship - the first major event of the domestic women's amateur golf season - could be severly affected if the volcanic ash grounding of flights all over Europe is not relaxed within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Thursday is the last day for practice. The tournament starts with one round over Troon Portland links on Friday.
The high-quality field includes 14 entries from France, 16 from Ireland, 2 from Norway, 6 from Sweden, 2 from Spain (including Majorca-based Scot Lauren Mackin) and one from Russia.
The Irish contingent should have no problems if they set off early enough to catch a ferry but remember the Ireland v Scotland senior women's international (due to be played on Sunday and today at Portmarnock) had to be postponed when the Scots team, their flight plans scrapped, could not get on any of the fully-booked ferries to Ireland.
The Scottish Ladies Golfing Association website is displaying the following message:
"The Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship 2010 will go ahead as planned despite the flight restrictions currently in place across much of Europe.
"There are likely to be significant changes to the published draw for both Friday 23 and Saturday 24 April. A revised draw will be published on this web-site at 3pm on Thursday 22 April.
"Alternatively, players who are unable to access the web-site should call the SLGA mobile after 3pm on Thursday 22 April for their revised times."
Claire Hargan, the SLG Tournament Director, commented this afternoon:
"As you would expect we have had some cancellations from quite a few of the European players due to their flights being cancelled and I expect there will be some more.
"I did speak to Rachel Taylorís father (Rachel is a Germany-based Scotland girl international) this morning and he said that they were currently looking into options to try and make it from the South of Germany (i.e. they are considering driving to Belgium and then getting the ferry from there!).
The Ladies Golf Union's selection committee will meet at Troon on Sunday night to select the Great Britain & Ireland team of eight for the Curtis Cup match against the United States at Essex County Club, Massachusetts from June 11 to 13.
They will be out in force running an eye over candidates in the "Helen Holm" - although three members of the preliminary squad selected last autumn, Lucy Gould (Bargoed), Stephanie Meadow (Royal Portrush) and Sally Watson (Elie & Earlsferry Ladies), are students at American colleges.
Three other members of the squad have since turned professional - Kylie Walker (Buchanan Castle), Carly Booth (Comrie) and Rhian Wyn Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan).
Last year's top 10 in'Helen Holm'
Par 225: First two rounds over Troon Portland (par 75), final round at Royal Troon (par 75)
219 Leona Maguire (Ireland) 69 77 73.
221 Kelsey MacDonald (Scotland) 75 72 74.
222 Lisa Maguire (Ireland) 74 74 74, Emma Brown (England) 74 73 75.
223 Danielle McVeigh (Ireland) 74 76 73, Tara Davies (Wales) 77 71 75.
224 Louise Kenney (Scotland) 76 73 75, Lucie Andre (France) 74 74 76.
225 Naomi Edwards (England) 76 74 75.
226 Charlotte Wild (England) 74 78 74, Rhian Wyn Thomas (Wales) 73 77 76, Laura Murray (Scotland) 75 74 77.