Friday, April 16, 2010

Kelsey can clinch Curtis Cup place
with good display at 'Helen Holm'

Two stunning scores have given Curtis Cup hopeful Kelsey MacDonald the winning mentality at the perfect time.
MacDonald, a University of Stirling scholarship student, is in peak form ahead of the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship, beginning next Friday at Troon.
A remarkable final round 68 on St Andrews' Castle Course - the best round of the day - ensured she was crowned the 2010 R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament women's champion, finishing second overall behind fellow Stirling student Patrick Spraggs.
This followed success in Spain where MacDonald clawed back an eight-shot deficit in the final round to be crowned the Hacienda del Alamo Women's Open champion. The sun was well and truly shining on MacDonald, who finished runner-up on a countback after tying for first with Welsh international Amy Boulden in the Murcia Ladies Open. The pair finished in front of three other Curtis Cup squad members.
"It has been my best season so far," commented MacDonald, who also reached the semi-finals of the Jones/Doherty match-play on the Orange Blossom Tour in Florida in January before further impressive performances in France and Spain.
"I've played a lot more tournaments than in previous years and I've managed to have consistently good rounds. It sounds silly, but I've learned how to win. I used to try and make the cut, then it was the target of the top ten - now I aim to win. And because I've won some events in the last two years, I have the hunger to win even more."
Having been named in the provisional GB&I Curtis Cup squad, MacDonald has been playing as much golf as possible in a bid to impress the Ladies Golf Union selectors before they announce the final eight directly after the Helen Holm event at Troon.
A second year Sports Studies student at Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence, MacDonald has been selected two years running for Scotland's national student sports scholarship scheme "Winning Students."
And if she can continue her strong form into the Helen Holm event next week, where she finished runner-up last year, then MacDonald - arguably the best performing Scottish amateur women's player in 2010 - will be difficult to overlook.
She added: "The Helen Holm is traditionally seen as the start of the season, but with the Curtis Cup in June, it's important to be peaking around now. I wasn't expecting to finish so high last year although I had been playing well.
"But this year my results going into it are much better so I am definitely looking forward to playing and I know I can win. Royal Troon is always in great condition but it's a tough course, always windy, so it is never going to be easy.
"It is quite hard knowing this is the last tournament before the team is selected. There is that pressure on you knowing the selectors are watching, but you have to use that in a good way and show why you should be picked."
+Kelsey comes from Nairn and lives just across the road from the first tee at Nairn Dunbar Golf Club where she is a member. She retained the Scottish Under-21 championship on her home course last season.