Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kenney left in shock as she misses the cut for Curtis Cup

By Martin Dempster
While there was delight for two Scots as Sally Watson and Pamela Pretswell were named in the Great Britain & Ireland team, Louise Kenney admitted she was "shocked" not to have even been included among the four reserves for this year's Curtis Cup clash in America.
Watson, who is coming to the end of her freshman year at Stanford University in California, where Tiger Woods completed his education before turning professional, is the only survivor in captain Mary McKenna's team from the match over the Old Course at St Andrews two years ago. The 18-year-old, who lives in South Queensferry and is a member of Elie & Earlsferry Ladies' Golf Club, has just been named in the All-Pac-10 women's second team, having had a win and three other top-ten finishes on the US women's college circuit.
Watson led the Stanford team in stroke average and always looked a good bet to make the eight-strong GB&I line-up again despite missing the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship at the weekend due to college commitments.
Kenney, who topped the Scottish Order of Merit last year and didn't finish outside the top ten in doing so, produced the strongest performance of three Scots in the field at Troon who were on the Curtis Cup short leet, yet her third-place finish appears to have been totally discounted by the selectors.
Instead, they've gone for Pretswell, who, by contrast, produced a poor performance in Ayrshire. In her junior honours year at Glasgow University, Pretswell, who will be 21 by the time the match comes around it is being played Essex County Club at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts from 11-13 June has played little competitive golf since last year's Women's Home Internationals at Irvine Bogside.
However, the selectors would appear to have been swayed by an impressive performance she produced to win the 2008 Swiss Women's Open Amateur Championship, the Bothwell Castle player coming from 11 shots behind on the final day to claim that title.
Nairn Dunbar's Kelsey MacDonald, who was in the GB&I training squad along with Kenney, Pretswell and Watson, has been named as the first reserve, leaving Kenney wondering exactly what she has done wrong to have been totally overlooked.
"I am shocked, to be honest," said the 27-year-old from Pitreavie. "I don't think I was being silly in thinking I had a chance of making the team and it is utter disbelief that I've not even made one of the four reserve spots. I've had so many texts from people saying how sorry they am for me and I'll just have to go out there and do what I did last year to try and prove the selectors wrong."
As expected, the 15-year-old Macguire twins, Leona and Lisa, have been included in the team, the Slieve Russell players having rubber-stamped their potential when they set an age record by making the GB&I team at the age of 14 in last year's Vagliano Trophy match against Europe.
They will now become the youngest GB&I representatives to play in a Curtis Cup, taking that record away from Scotland's Carly Booth, who had her 16th birthday just after the 2008 Curtis Cup match.
Completing a strong Irish contingent is Danielle McVeigh, the impressive Helen Holm winner, while England provides the three other members of the side, namely Hannah Barwood, Holly Clyburn and Rachel Jennings.
"It is a very good mix of experience and youth," said McKenna, who played in nine Curtis Cup matches between 1970 and 1986 and, in terms of winning individual and foursomes ties, is the most successful GB&I player in Curtis Cup history.
"They have all played overseas on in America at some time, so that's a big plus factor as well."