Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ladies European Tour
La Sella Golf Resort, Alicante, Spain
Par 288 (4x72)
267 Anna Nordqvist & Sophie Gustafson (Swe) 67 62 70 68 (Anna & Sophie wins at Third Playoff hole), Karrie Webb & Karen Lunn (Aus) 69 65 67 66
269 Giulia Sergas & Veronica Zorzi 68 66 68 67
272 Iben Tinning & Lisa Holm Sorensen (Den) 68 66 67 71
274 Gwladys Nocera & Jade Schaeffer (Fra) 67 69 66 72, Beth Daniel & Meg Mallon (USA) 67 71 65 71
275 Catriona Matthew & Krystle Caithness (Sco) 69 69 67 70
277 Tania Elosegui & Emma Cabrera Bello (Spa) 66 65 73 73
278 Maria Verchenova & Anastasia Kostina (Rus) 71 68 65 74, Becky Brewerton & Breanne Loucks (Wal) 69 70 66 73
279 Anja Monke & Bettina Hauert (Ger) 70 71 68 70
280 Karen Stupples & Melissa Reid (Eng) 71 69 69 71, Christel Boeljon & Marjet Van Der Graaff (Ned) 68 69 71 72
281 Stefanie Michl & Nicole Gergely (Aut) 66 72 70 73
283 Ursula Wikstrom & Jenni Kuosa (Fin) 73 69 69 72
287 Caroline Rominger & Frederique Seeholzer (Swi) 71 71 70 75
289 Rebecca Coakley & Hazel Kavanagh (Irl) 72 75 72 70, Cecilie Lundgreen & Caroline Martens larsen (Nor) 72 71 73 73


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mexican star ending her career at the age of 28

Lorena Ochoa, World No 1 female
golfer, announces her retirement

Lorena Ochoa, the world's No 1 lady professional golfer, has stunned the golfing world by announcing her retirement today at the age of 28.
She had been three years as the world's top ranked female golfer, taking over the mantle from Sweden's Annika Sorenstam.
Mexican-born Ochoa confirmed her decision in a short statement, saying she will hold a Press conference on Friday to explain her decision.
"Lorena Ochoa confirms her retirement from the LPGA, as news reports in some media have said today," her statement said.
Links to more golf news:
Obama plays much more golf than Bush
Golfer's 'yips like writer's cramp'
"The reasons and more details on the matter will be given by Lorena personally in a press conference on Friday in Mexico City. Lorena will share this news of a new stage in her life with her sponsors, family members and friends."
The newspaper Reforma said on Tuesday that Ochoa was retiring to concentrate on her family and charities.
Ochoa was married in December to Andres Conesa, the CEO of Aeromexico airline. He has three children from a previous marriage.
She was set to play next week in the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, west of Mexico City. It was not clear if she will play there or if this month's Kraft Nabisco Championship in California, where she finished fourth in the year's first major, was her finale.
Ochoa was following the path of former No 1, Annika Sorenstam, who was married last year just weeks after ending her career. Annika gave birth to a baby girl in September. Ochoa has also talked openly about wanting to have children of her own.
Last year she began travelling more on charity work within Mexico, playing less, and had more off-course obligations, which include her charity foundation.
"Personally, it's more important the things that I do outside the golf course," Ochoa said last year before a tournament she hosts in her hometown of Guadalajara. "And that's been my main focus right now."
Sorenstam was a commanding player, and Ochoa was expected to take over the mantle. Sorenstam's departure probably increased the pressure on Ochoa, who won two majors among her 27 victories on the US LPGA Tour - including the 2007 Ricoh Women's British Open by four strokes over the Old Course, St Andrews - but didn't quite pull the crowds the way Sorenstam did.
The retirement of its No 1 player will be a major blow to the US LPGA, which is struggling in a tough economy and has seen its number of tournaments decline in recent years.
'I want to be home, with my husband, not living out of a suitcase,"
said Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa began every news conference with the sweetest “Hello” in golf. Now, at a mere 28 years old, she’ll say goodbye to a tour that she dominated for several years. While the timing of Ochoa’s impending retirement came as a shock, the fact that she’s walking away so early in her career was expected.
Ochoa long has made it clear that she would not mix family and golf. She married AeroMexico CEO Andres Conesa in December and began a new chapter in life. Most assumed Ochoa would play until 2012, when she’d qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame after 10 seasons, but accolades have never meant more to Ochoa than family.
“Well, I think life is too short, and I always say that I want to play golf and be there 100 percent and be very competitive, and my goal is to stay in that No. 1 position as long as I play,” Ochoa said at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
And then will come a different stage for my life (when starting a family) when I want to be home. I want to be with my husband. I want to every day do things and be at one place, not traveling with a suitcase. I have that very clear.”
Ochoa’s thoughts won’t be known until her Friday news conference in Mexico City, but good friend Sophia Sheridan said the word in Ochoa’s camp is that she simply wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. That was obvious in Ochoa’s actions. The World No. 1’s on-course tantrums were becoming routine.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about legacy. My church pastor (First Baptist of Orlando, where the late Payne Stewart attended) has spent the past several weeks on legacy, even quoting part of Billy Payne’s speech on Masters Sunday. While the men’s World No. 1 tries to find ways to connect with fans beyond his mind-blowing stats and swing, Ochoa never needed that lesson.
“I hope (Tiger) can come to understand that life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people,” Payne said.
Consider Ochoa highly rewarded.
But while no one will ever question the joy Ochoa brought to others in and around the game, the happiness she received in return seemed to have taken a turn in the past year.
People have been asking “What’s wrong with Lorena?” for quite some time. At last year’s event in Phoenix, an Ochoa tantrum was caught on TV. The next week in Rancho Mirage, a volunteer who had watched Ochoa for years, walked up in shock after seeing Ochoa throw her ball down several times in disgust on her way to the tee. This year at the Kraft, she spiked her ball so hard on a green that she had to repair her own divot.
Ochoa’s frustrations were mounting, and one got the feeling her heart was somewhere else. Perhaps there wasn’t enough heart to go around.
At the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, Ochoa broke down in tears after hitting an awful 3-wood off the tee on the 72nd hole. “I just gave it away,” she said.
That kind of competitive fire blazed within Ochoa for so many years, many will wonder how someone so competitive can just walk away, especially having won only two majors among her 27 career victories.
Well, Annika Sorenstam walked away at the end of 2008 and hasn’t thought twice about her decision. She’s as consumed by her family and business ventures as she used to be with collecting trophies. Ochoa, though 11 years younger, will be the same.
After all, golf never was the center of Ochoa’s life. God and family always have been her core. She’ll pour herself into the lives of Conesa’s three children and start planning for more. She’ll keep bringing the game to the masses in Mexico and expand her academies around the world. She’ll continue to educate the poor.
In Conesa, Ochoa has a well-respected businessman and provider who carries a lot of clout in Mexico. They maintain a Hollywood power-couple status in Mexico City, where security always is tight. That kind of fish-bowl existence can be exhausting.
Ochoa’s entire golf career was centeed on becoming World No. 1. The rate she was going lately, however, it was only a matter of time (maybe weeks) before that position was taken away. If Ochoa can’t find the drive to stay at No. 1, she’s not the type to stick around.
There’s too much pressure back home in Mexico. Too many questions, too many expectations. A club-throwing, ball-spiking, thigh-slapping flurry of agitation is not the legacy Ochoa aimed to leave. Like many women, she decided she couldn’t do it all. No shame in that.
Beyond Ochoa’s millions of fans, plenty of whom should be in attendance when she tees it up next week in Morelia, Ochoa’s benevolence toward her peers, family and country will define her legacy. Ochoa’s eight years on the LPGA provided a platform she undoubtedly will use for good as long as she lives.
Where Ochoa goes, joy will follow.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Krystle's longest drive ....

Krystle Caithness is so determined to keep her date with Women's British Open champion Catriona Matthew at the Nations Cup in Spain this week she has become golf’s equivalent of Steve Martin – minus the planes!
For the Cupar-based 21-year-old Fifer, who learned to play golf over the Old Course, St Andrews, has taken to trains, boats and automobiles to represent Scotland for the first time as a professional.
Due to the widespread cancellation of flights throughout Europe, Krystle and caddy Scott Barry are currently working their way to the Alicante, Spain venue.
Starting out on Sunday, the 110sport golfer travelled by train to London from Edinburgh, then took a car on Monday to Dover for a ferry crossing to Dunkirk.
And from there it was back to four wheels again for the drive south.
"It's not everyday you get the opportunity to travel across Europe by different methods of transport. It's an adventure and an experience but one that I’ve been enjoying,” said Krystle.
“I’m desperate to represent Scotland – so much so that a volcano in Iceland isn’t going to stop me.”
Krystle represented Great Britain & Ireland as an amateur in the 2008 Curtis Cup match against the United States over the Old Course, St Andrews. She was also a regular member of the Scotland women's amateur team.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Krystle Caithness signs up with 110sport

110sport, one of the UK’s leading sports management groups, are delighted to announce the signing of golfer Krystle Caithness.
The 21-year-old from St Andrews is one of the top-rated youngsters in the ladies game and is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from Scotland in recent years.
Next week Krystle, who in 2009 finished 41st overall in the Order of Merit in her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour, will make another huge step up in her career when she represents Scotland in the Nations Cup alongside reigning British Open champion Catriona Matthew MBE.
Krystle, previously on a golf scholarship at the University of Georgia where she was part of the Bulldogs team ranked fifth in the USA, was the only player with a 100% record when she represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2008 Curtis Cup.
She will receive support from Core Golf and Lyle & Scott, while lending her own support to Sparks, the children’s medical research charity.
"I am really excited at joining 110sport and this is a huge opportunity for me" said Krystle, a prolific junior event winner in Scotland.
"I know their experience in looking after the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Stephen Hendry MBE, as well as players such as Alastair Forsyth and Marc Warren from the world of golf will only benefit me and allow me to concentrate entirely on my game and my career.
"Next week and the chance to play with Catriona is like a dream come true. It isn’t coming around quick enough and I can only learn from the experience."
Dean Robertson, Golf Performance & Development Manager for 110sport Group said; "We are delighted to have formed a partnership with someone like Krystle who obviously has great potential and hopefully a great future in her chosen sport.
"Naturally we will do everything we can to assist and support her quest to reach the top."
Paul Connew, Director of Communications at Sparks said; "We’re delighted that Krystle Caithness has decided to support Sparks. She will make a marvellous Ambassador for the charity.
"Golf is a major part of Sparks’ sporting heritage and our busy calendar of celebrity golf events around the UK remain one of our outstanding fundraising sources.
"So, having one of Britain’s outstanding and dynamic young lady golfers choosing to support Sparks is a perfect fit."
Roll of Honour
2009 - Dubai Ladies Pro-Am - winner
2009 –AIB Ladies Irish Open – 5th
2009 –Ladies European Tour Order of Merit – 41st overall
2008 - Ladies European Tour Qualifying School – 7th
2007 – Five Nations Commonwealth Tournament - winner (with Great Britain team)
2007 – Girls Home Internationals – winner (with Scotland team)
2006 – Girls Home Internationals – winner (with Scotland team)
2006 – Scottish U-21 Strokeplay - winner
2006 – Scottish U-18 Strokeplay - winner
2005 – Scottish U-18 Strokeplay - winner
2005 – Scottish U-16 Strokeplay - winner
2004 – Scottish U-18 Matchplay - winner
2004 – Scottish U-16 Strokeplay - winner
2008 - Member of the GB&I Curtis Cup team
Chris Turner
Golf Projects Manager
110sport Management


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Katy McNicoll in France for LET Access Series event

Carnoustie's Katy McNicoll is in the field for the LET Access Series tournament, the Dinard Ladies Open, in France, beginning tomorrow, writes Colin Farquharson
England's Rachel Bell, Henrietta Zuel, Joanne Clingan, Rachel Drummond (amateur), Tracey Boyes, Cori Lee and Charlotte Dalton (amateur) plus Wales' Rhian Wyn Thomas are also competing.
McNicoll, Boyes and Lee have shown an interest in competing on the Scottish Xltec Pro Tour for men and women, of which the next event is at Hilton Park over 36 holes on April 28 and 29.
Hopefully they will ''spread the word" among their colleagues while in France so that we can get a double-figure field of lady pros at Hilton Park.


Alison Nicholas achieves a PGA Degree of Success

Europe’s Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas has chalked up another significant milestone in her illustrious career – as a graduate of the PGA Foundation Degree.
Former US Women’s Open winner Nicholas, who has been charged with guiding Europe’s leading women against the US for the second successive time in 2011, will be among dozens of graduates at the University of Birmingham on Friday, marking the end of three years of hard work to make the grade as a PGA professional.
Nicholas’s achievement was done so against the backdrop of being Solheim Cup captain for two of her three years of studying the various facets of being a PGA professional, including sport science, business, coaching and equipment technology.
The Birmingham-based professional, who teaches at the Hagley Golf and Country Club and the European Golf Performance Institute in Rugeley, was determined to pursue her PGA credentials after an illustrious playing career that garnered 18 titles including two majors.
“Taking the PGA Foundation Degree was important for me after I took retirement,” said Nicholas, who competitively hung up her clubs in 2004. “It was important for me to keep learning and to learn as much as I can to help other people in terms of my teaching. I can testify that I have learned a lot more than I knew at the start of the course.”
Completing the degree course, which sees an intake of around 300 budding PGA professionals a year, ranks among her career highlights.
“It is pretty much up there,” said the 48-year-old, who was awarded an MBE in 1998 following her US Women’s Open victory.“I’m delighted that I passed and got through in three years. It has been hard work juggling studying, working and my Solheim Cup duties. I did feel under a bit of pressure, but I’ve used to thriving under this situation throughout my career. It was important for me to finish it inside the three years.”
Nicholas, who will be the host captain for the 2011 contest against the US, will be free to focus on the build up to the match – without any distractions.
“I will have a lot more to do with the preparations this time around and will be going out to the venue later this month,” said Nicholas.
Her achievement in completing the course was recognised by senior figures at the PGA and the Ladies European Tour.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: "This is a tremendous achievement for Alison and marks a year of hard work. She deserves huge applause for her outstanding efforts and I wish her more success in the future.”
Alexandra Armas, executive director of the Ladies European Tour, said: “I congratulate the 2009 and 2011 European Solheim Cup captain, Alison Nicholas, on her PGA graduation. Alison has worked extremely hard to combine studying with steering her Solheim Cup team, as well as teaching at Hagley Golf & Country Club at The Driving Range & Golf Academy and working with the European Golf Performance Institute.”
+Image of Alison Nicholas by courtesy of Getty Images.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is no caddie fire-proof? Tseng sacks bagman Poitevent

after WINNING the Kraft Nabisco Championship

By Beth Ann Baldry
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – The caddie/player relationship can be a confounding puzzle. Yani Tseng has fired her caddie, Dave Poitevent, after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a major title in the world of women's pro golf and their second victory in 2010. The pair also posted two top-three finishes in Asia.
Tseng said it was a matter of chemistry, though she did credit Poitevent for helping her learn to trust herself more on the course. Clearly, results aren’t everything around here.
Tseng has Tom Thorpe on the bag this week in Jamaica, a veteran caddie of 26 years. Thorpe parted ways with Song-Hee Kim after the Kraft. He spent 10 years working for Nancy Lopez and looped for Lorena Ochoa early in her career.
Solving the caddie equation could be a big part of Tseng’s long-term success. Her first two years on tour she relied on the help of good friend Sherry Lin, but has since realised she needs a more experienced looper. Lin now acts the part of road manager, which is probably a good move.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Carly Booth Signs Head-to-Toe
Agreement with Nike Golf

Carly Booth, one of the most exciting female talents to emerge in women’s golf since Michelle Wie, has signed a multi-year agreement with Nike Golf as she set outs on her first year as a full-time professional on the Ladies European Tour.
The 17-year-old from Comrie in Perthshire has played with Nike equipment throughout her recent years as an amateur, but her move into the professional ranks marks a more serious commitment to the brand as she enters a new chapter in a career which looks destined for great things after she won a coveted place on the LET at qualifying school last November.
The multi-year contract will see Booth exclusively use Nike Golf equipment from the VR range of clubs as well as bag, ball, shoes, glove, apparel and accessories.
Speaking about her decision to join Nike Golf’s team of athletes, Booth said: ”I am excited about starting my professional career with a brand as big as Nike Golf. I know that the team there will work with me to give me the very best equipment and support to help me make the transition from amateur to successful professional.”
Stan Grissinger, Nike Golf’s general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Carly is still young but the vast experience she has already gained as an amateur will stand her in good stead for life on Tour. We are delighted that she has chosen to join Nike Golf and believe that she has a great future ahead of her."
In signing with Nike Golf, Booth joins an exclusive stable of just five other female athletes, which includes world no.3 Suzanne Pettersen, world no.9 Michelle Wie and American college star Amanda Blumenhurst, who joins the LPGA Tour as a rookie this year after winning the 2009 qualifying school by two shots, as well as LET athletes Frances Bondad and Kristie Smith.
Booth’s extraordinary talent was in evidence from the time her father first put a golf club in her hands at the age of five. At eight, she became the youngest player in the world with an adult handicap of 20, and on her 11th birthday she won the Dunblane Ladies’ title to become Britain’s youngest club champion. Since that early triumph, her career has been one highlight after another. At 12, she played with Sandy Lyle in the British Masters Pro-Am and at 14 she appeared in her first professional event, the Scottish Open, and finished 13th. She was rated the No.1 junior in Europe after winning the European Junior Masters in 2007, the same year she lifted the Scottish U18 and U21 titles.
In 2008, she became the youngest player to represent Great Britain & Ireland in the 76-year history of the Curtis Cup, facing the Americans in the 35th staging of that match at St Andrews. And last year she hit the headlines again, when becoming the youngest-ever Scot to qualify for the LET, after finishing 14th at qualifying school in Spain in December. Booth also has a golf scholarship to complete at Glenalmond School near her home in Scotland.
She started there after returning from America, where a stay at David Leadbetter's Academy in Florida was followed by a spell at a school in Arizona. Booth made her professional debut on the Ladies European Tour at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco


Monday, March 29, 2010

Charley Hull (14) wins The Leveret at Formby

Northamptonshire teenager Charley Hull gave herself a belated 14th birthday present when she won The Leveret at Formby Ladies with a five-under par total of 137.
She celebrated her birthday a week before and is one of the youngest-ever winners of the competition. The prestigious 36-hole scratch event, which is also open to professionals, is the curtain-raiser to the season.
Charley, a past winner of the English girls’ U13 championship, had six birdies in her morning round of 66.
In the afternoon she returned level par 71 with four birdies and four bogeys. The runner-up, one shot behind, was England international Charlotte Ellis, from Gloucestershire, who had a pair of very tidy 69s.
The event attracted a very good entry and competitors played in fine but breezy conditions.
Leading final scores
Par 71 CSS am 73, pm 72
137 Charley Hull (Kettering) 66 71
138 Charlotte Ellis (Minchinhampton) 69 69
142 Tara Davies (Wales) 72 70
143 Raffi Dyer (Hayling) 72 71
144 Cori Lee* (West Lancashire) 73 71
145 Amy Boulden (Wales) 73 72
146 Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) 71 75
147 Katie Best (Sherwood Forest) 73 74; Alison Gray* (Ormskirk) 73 74
148 Sarah Walton* (Clitheroe) 76 72; Nikki Foster (Pleasington) 75 73
*denotes professional
Full details:
Lyndsey Hewison
Press & PR Officer

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Matthew praises SLGA for ending
'taboo' of turning pro
By Martin Dempster
Catriona Matthew, the Ricoh Women's British Open champion, has praised the modern-day attitude of the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association and says it is creating a better environment for players bidding to follow her on to the world stage.
The North Berwick golfer believes turning professional was once a "taboo" subject with the ruling body for the women's game in Scotland and is delighted to see a definite change among officials about the role the SLGA plays in the development of talent.
"I definitely think the SLGA appreciate that people will turn professional in the end," she said. "When I was going through the ranks it was a bit of a taboo subject. However, they are beginning to see that successful professionals can help the amateur game as well. I think it (the SLGA set-up] is all getting a bit more professional."
Matthew, who has never lost sight of her amateur roots, agreed to become a vice-president of the SLGA earlier this year and recently joined one of its squads on a coaching trip to Spain.
"It was a good exercise for everyone, I think," she said. "We were there for four days and I was able to give them tips on course management, how I practise, that sort of stuff. I was showing them what it might be like as a professional.
"Hopefully we can get more Scottish ladies coming up through the professional ranks as there's not been many since myself, Janice (Moodie] and Mhairi (McKay]. It would be nice to see some more come through."
Matthew, who will defend her British title at Royal Birkdale in the summer, teed off the new season in Singapore last month and is now in America for two events – the Kia Classic at Carlsbad starting today and next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage."
I've not done anything differently (as a result of winning a major]," she said.
"I had a bit of a break over Christmas and into January due to the weather but I've been out practising a lot recently. I'm playing well so I am really looking forward to the start of the season and getting going.
"I've played well in the Nabisco in the past. I love the golf course and, with me hitting the ball well at the moment, I'm really looking forward to getting out to that one. The US Open at Oakmont is a big goal for me this season and, with the British title to defend, I've certainly got a lot of things to look forward to."
On this side of the Atlantic, Matthew is also relishing the chance to join forces with Krystle Caithness, one of the rising stars on the Ladies European Tour, in the Scottish team for the European Nations Cup at La Sella, Alicante, towards the end of next month.
Matthew is the top Scot in the world rankings and Caithness has earned her place off the European money-list.
"I have played in a similar event in South Africa before and I'm looking forward to that," she said.
One event Matthew cannot say for certain she will be teeing up in this season is the Ladies' Scottish Open presented by EventScotland, even though it is being held at Archerfield Links, where she is a member.
"It will depend on my schedule," she said. "I will need to wait and see how I play at the start of the year, so things are up in the air a bit at the moment. It is good it is back, though, and the pro-am format will provide something different – every Tour has a tournament like that these days.
"Whether she plays in the Scottish Open or not, Matthew, who earned a whole host of deserved accolades following her major triumph at Royal Lytham last summer, including an MBE, insists she is unlikely to ever up sticks and move her family to America, even though that is where she plays the majority of her golf in a season.
"I usually take four or five weeks off (over the winter] and don't touch a club," she revealed. "That's kept me refreshed and keen for the game. A lot of the players live in Florida but I've always felt that if I did that I would fee; guilty if I wasn't out practising if the weather was good. At least when it's awful you don't feel so bad about it."
Not surprisingly perhaps, Matthew will once again have husband Graeme on the bag this season, the pair having worked well together thus far in her career.
"Yes, I'll have the same caddie – he can't escape," she said with a smile.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nicola Melville could
step into limelight on
Xltec Pro Tour

Aberdeen-born Nicola Melville's golfing career has never received much publicity - but all that could change once the lady pro section of the new Xltec Pro Tour tees off at Hilton Park Golf Club on April 28-29.
Nicola, who has just turned 24, is looking forward to the chance to play competitively more often than she has done in the past. So the Xltec Pro Tour has come along at just the right time. So who is Nicola Melville?
(Thanks to her mother Fiona for elaborating on her daughter's CV for!)
Born in Aberdeen but brought up in Bridge of Allan, she took up golf when she was 14 and was twice ladies champion at Bridge of Allan and once at Stirling (aged 17/18) while playing for Stirling & Clackmannan and East of Scotland Girls.
Nicola decided to join the PGA's Foundation Degree programme and initially started as an assistant professional at Blairgowrie Golf Club and then transferred to the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews four years ago.
The demands of working full time at a resort hotel meant very little time for playing and she has now left the Old Course Hotel in recent weeks to focus on improving her game. She is staying in the St Andrews area, working part time and hoping to supplement her income with some coaching and refereeing (having taken the Advanced Rules of Golf and Refereeing course).
She is going to be coaching at the Scottish Golf Show this weekend.
Her website is and she is representing herself and is delighted at having the opportunity of playing on the new Scottish tour as well as some WPGA events and hopefully a few PGA Scottish Region events.
Nicola Melville. Remember where you read the name.


Where have all the competitive lady pros gone?

... hopefully they will turn out in force

to play at Hilton Park (April 28-29)

The tee-off in the female section of the new Xltec Pro Tour has been delayed until the Hilton Park GC 36-hole competition on April 28-29.
The minimum required number of five entries for a ladies' event to be played was never going to be reached for this week's inaugural men's two-rounder at Whitekirk Golf Club, teeing off on Thursday.
"Too early in the season," seemed to sum up the general response from the potential lady competitors at Whitekirk.
But it should be a different story at Hilton Park. In fact, if the foundation stone to a second-tier lady pro tour in Scotland is ever going to be laid, it had better happen at Hilton Park.
If it does not happen at that venue, then it will never happen and people like me and the seven donors of £200 for top-up prizemoney cannot be blamed if we walk away and leave the lady pros to their own devices in future.
But let's be optimistic.
I have good reason to believe that the Xltec Pro Tour ladies' field at Hilton Park at the end of April will include the following:
1 Nicola Melville.
2 Tracey Boyes.
3 Kimberley Crooks.
4 Katy McNicoll.
5 Lynn Kenny.
6 Kylie Walker.
7 Clare Queen.
8 Heather MacRae.
I have my fingers crossed that Ladies European Tour players Vikki Laing, Carly Booth and Pamela Feggans will join the tour, hopefully in time to play at the April 28-29 venue.
That would boost the potential field to 11 players with the possibility that Gillian Stewart, Cathy Panton-Lewis, Karyn Burns and Lesley Mackay, not to mention some WPGA or other pros from England, might join the merry throng!
If we could get a field of 15 lady pros at Hilton Park that would add up to a prize fund of £1,030, which would include £280 from the bonus pot of £1,400 supplied by the following donors of £200 a time.
1 Stewart Spence (The Marcliffe at Pitfodels Hotel)
2 Dave McNicoll (Carnoustie Golf Shop).
3 David J Laing (Civil engineers).
4 Allan Ingram Industrial Cleaning Services.
5 Castle Group Scotland.
6 Name withheld at donor's request.
7 Name withheld at donor's request.
The men's side of the Xltec Tour is being run on the basis of 30 per cent of any field receiving prizemoney. For example, they have 45 competitors at Whitekirk this week, which means that the winner down to the 13th placed finisher will receive prizemoney.
If that is applied to the lady pro event at Hilton Park, then a field of 15 would mean £1,030 divided up into a 1-2-3-4-5 prizelist. Admittedly, in Ladies European Tour terms, it is not a lot of money. But this is not the Ladies European Tour. This is a fledgling lady pro circuit trying to get off the ground as best it can in the belief that each succeeding event will create a bit more publicity in the Press and on websites, and that the interest among lady pros, hopefully from Scotland but the tour is open to any nationality, to come and compete will grow each month. Is that too much to hope?
One critic sent me an E-mail, saying that what I was doing in seeking £200 donors was tantamount to "begging." So be it. If I have to beg to raise money to boost the prizefunds for this lady pro tour section to get off the ground, then I will. If there are any other donors out there, you can E-mail me at


April 28-29: Hilton Park.
May 25-26: Dalmahoy.
July 28-29: Westerwood.
September 28-29: Spey Valley, Aviemore.
October 6-7: Dundonald Links.

+If any lady pro requires details about how to join the tour, what it costs, all they have to do is E-mail


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Michelle Wie does a deal with McDonald's

Michelle Wie has signed an endorsement deal with McDonald's, arguably the world's leading fast-food providers. An advertising campaign featuring Miss Wie will be launched next month in five languages.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but we are talking, as they say, mega-bucks.
Wie is one of the most popular players in women's golf, especially after the 20-year-old from Hawaii won her first LPGA Tour event last year in Mexico and was a big hit on her Solheim Cup debut. She spends part of her time as a student at Stanford University, California.
The commercial is to be available in two dialects of Chinese, English, Korean and Taglish. Wie also will take part in McDonald's promotions that focus on education.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Late entries being accepted
for launch of new tour at
Whitekirk on Thursday

Late entries are being accepted from male and female professionals for the inaugural event on the Xltec Pro Golf Tour.
The first event, over 36 holes at Whitekirk Golf Club, near North Berwick, tees off on Thursday.
Alan Tait - 07734 207119
Nigel Scott-Smith - 07939 015556
Chris Turner (110sport) - 07889 355856
Women professionals - of any nationality, and they do not need to be members of the Ladies European Tour or the WPGA -have to pay a one-off fee of £40 to become a member of the Xltec Pro Tour. A minimum of five female entries is required.
Competition entry fee for females per event is £50, all of which will go directly into the prize fund, plus a £10 administration fee.
Discounted accommodation rates for competitors are available at the Marine Hotel, North Berwick

7.50am: Kenneth Glen (Royal Musselburgh), Eric Walker (Burntisland).
8.00am: Stuart Kerr (Strathaven), Norman Huguet (Musselburgh), Jonnie Cliff (Murrayfield).
8.10am: John Gallagher (Swanston Golf), Michael Rae (Alyth), Graeme Brown (Montrose Links).
8.20am: Alastair Thomson (Douglas Park), Alan Lockhart (Ladybank), Mark Kerr (Dalmahoy).
8.30am: Craig Everett (Caldwell), Stewart Savage (Dalmuir), Craig Matheson (Falkirk Tryst).
8.40am: Graham Rankin (Drumpellier), Shaun McAllister (Craigielaw), Danny Wardrop (Didsbury).
8.50am: Chris Russell (RAW Golf Course Design), Craig Ronald (Carluke), Jason McCreadie(Buchanan Castle).
9.00am: Steven Hume (Murrayshall), Stephen Clark (Carrick on Loch Lomond), Graeme Stewart (Gleddoch).
9.10am: Chris Kelly (Cawder), Stephen Gray (Hayston), Greig Hutcheon (Banchory).
9.20am: Reserved for late entries.
9.30am: Steven Duncan (Carnoustie), Craig Gordon (unatt), Steven Brown (Carnoustie Golf Links).
9.40am: Lee Harper (Archerfield Links), Wallace Booth (Comrie), David Roger (Windyhill).
9.50am: Sean O'Donnell (Balbirnie Park), Tom Buchanan (Duddingston), Owen Leslie (Edinburgh Leisure).
10.00am: Scott Henderson (Kings Links Golf Centre), Graeme Lornie (Paul Lawrie Foundation), Paul Cormack (Inchmarlo Golf Centre).
10.10am: Ben Irving (Kirkcudbright), Neil Cooper (unatt), Malcolm Isaacs (Nairn Dunbar).
10.20am: Scott Henry (unatt), Paul Wardell (Whitekirk), Scott Catlin (Greenburn).
10.30am: Iain Hanna (Strathclyde Park), James McGhee (Turnhouse), Chris Currie (Caldwell).
10.40am: Craig Lee (Aspire Golf Centre), Ross Cameron (McDonald Ellon), Euan Cameron(Hamilton).
10.50am & later: Late entries.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Marine Hotel special accommodation rate for competitors

Late entries from female professionals will be accepted for

first event on Xltec Pro Tour at Whitekirk next Thursday

Late entries from female professionals or assistant professionals - of any nationality - are being accepted by the organisers of the XLtec Pro Tour which tees off the first of six 36-hole two-day stroke-play events at Whitekirk Golf Club, near North Berwick next Thursday (March 25).
Please log on to to see the draw for the male competitors and the tee times which will apply to late entries.
There is also news of a special accommodation rate for competitors at the Marine Hotel, North Berwick.
You can turn up and pay your Tour joining fee and your first competition entry fee next Thursday but you need to tell the organisers that you intend playing ASAP.
E-mail if you have any questions.


Charlotte Wild (Mere) and Nikki Foster (Pleasington), in action for England in the women's home internationals at Irvine Golf Club, Ayrshire last September (images by Cal Carson Golf Agency).

Girls' glory run ends in Sunningdale foursomes final

The glory run of Charlotte Wild (Mere) and Nikki Foster (Pleasington), playing off eight, ended only in today's final of the Sunningdale foursomes.
The girls, both England amateur internationals, were beaten by one hole by C Cowper (World of Golf) and N Reilly (Surbiton), a +2 partnership.
All credit to the winners but a big "very well done" to the girls to come through a huge field and reach the last stage of this prestigious event.
In the morning semi-finals, Cowper and Reilly bt S Lilly (Wellingborough) & A Lilly (Kettering)), playing off +1, by 5 and 4 while Wild and Foster beat M Morris (Walmley) and S Davis (Keddleston Hall), a +2 pairing, by two holes.

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Kimberley Crooks, Yorkshire county player, now a rookie on Ladies European Tour (image by courtesy of Tom Ward Photography).

Tracey Boyes, hoping to recruit members for the XLtec Pro Tour (lady pros' section) on the LET Access Tour (image by courtesy of Leaderboard Photography).

English girls Tracey Boyes and Kimberley Crooks

ready to play in XLtec Pro Tour's ladies' events

Although it is hoped that there will be strong Scottish support for the lady professionals' section of the XLtec Tour which has the first of its scheduled six, two-day 36-hole stroke-play events at Whitekirk Golf Club, near North Berwick next Thursday and Friday (March 25-26), it should be stressed that entries from any nationality will be accepted.
Membership of the Ladies European Tour or Women's Professional Golf Association is not mandatory but the player must have professional golfer status.
At some point in the future, lady amateurs with low handicaps, who may be thinking of turning professional and want to measure their skills against the pros, may be accepted but not for the moment.
Two English-based players who have expressed a strong interest in the XLtec Tour are Tracey Boyes, 28, from Southampton and Kimberley Crooks, 19, from Middlesborough, both of them are Ladies European Tour rookies..
Tracey Boyes says in an E-mail:
"I will not be able to attend the first one at Whitekirk, because I am playing in the LET Access Series but I will be able to do the others. I will tell the other girls that i know about the tournaments. Hope this will help."
Tracey is a rookie pro and a member of the LET Tour.
Her club as an amateur was Meon Valley and she was the 2009 Hampshire champion. Tracey reached the semi-finals of the 2009 English amateur championship and of the English mid-amateur championship. She was also runner-up in the Critchley Salver.
Kimberley Crooks says in her E-mail:
"I am very interested in playing in the XLtec lady pro events. Unfortunatly I am not able to play in next week's tournament but will be playing in the rest of them."
Kimberley's home club was Saltburn and she was a member of the winning Yorkshire county team.
Former British girls champion Clare Queen from Drumpellier, now representing The Carrick at Loch Lomond on the Ladies European Tour circuit, says she will play on the XLtec Tour - but cannot manage next week's curtain-raiser at Whitekird.
Katy McNicoll (Carnoustie) has turned pro since winning the North of Scotland women's amateur championship at Newmachar last summer. She has returned to Florida - where she spent four years at Lynn University (as did her brother Keith, also a former Scotland cap and now a rookie pro - but says she will definitely be coming home to play on the XLtec Tour.
"I'll miss the first one at Whitekirk but I'll definitely be a starter at the remainder. A ladies' pro tour in Scotland is just what we need," says Katy whose father Dave, a professional footballer with Dunfermline Athletic until a knee injury ending his playing career, owns the Carnoustie Golf Shop.
To get the lady pro section started, we need at least five entries at Whitekirk. That doesn't seem too many to ask for .... but we do not have a single official entry so far.
So, please, fill in the form below and get your name down for Whitekirk:
XLTEC PRO TOUR (Ladies’ Section)

March 25 & 26: Whitekirk, nr North Berwick.
April 28 & 29: Hilton Park, Glasgow
May 25 & 26: Dalmahoy (Edinburgh).
July 28 & 29: Westerwood (Glasgow)
September 28 & 29: Spey Valley, Aviemore.
October 6 & 7: Dundonald Links, Ayrshire.
+ All events will be 36 holes’ stroke-play over two consecutive days.
+Entry fee for lady professionals will be £50 per event, all of which will go directly to the ladies’ prize fund. Payable on first day of each event. Entries from any lady professional or assistant accepted, any nationality.
+There will be a £10 adminstration fee per tournament, payable by the player alongwith the entry fee.
+The one-off fee to join the Tour is £40 and the cheque, made payable to 110sport Management Ltd should be sent to Chris Turner without delay at the address listed below.
+The prize funds for the lady professionals section will depend on how many players enter per venue. A minimum of five players must enter for an event to be held. Donations are being received from companies and individuals, which are expected to add between £300 and £400 to each venue's prize fund. All the money received in entry fees will go into the prize fund alongwith the donations. For example, if 20 entries were received for any competition at £50 each, added to a sixth of the donations' total, that would provide a prize fund of approximately £1,300-£1,400 for that particular venue.
+The XLTec Pro Tour men will be playing at the same venues. Lady pros will play off the red LGU tees and are not competing against the men.
Alan Tait 07734 207119
Nigel Scott-Smith 07939 015556
Chris Turner (110sport) 07889 355856
Colin Farquharson 01224 869782
NAME ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..…

ADDRESS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………


CLUB/ATTACHMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………

MOBILE PHONE NUMBER …………………………………………………………………………………

E-MAIL ADDRESS …………………………………………………………………………………………..

I enclose £40 joining fee to the XLtec Pro Tour, payable to 110sport Management Limited.
*I would/would not like to play in the first event at Whitekirk GC on March 25/26.
*I would/would not like to play in the second event at Hilton Park GC on April 28/29
*I would/would not like to play in the third event at Dalmahoy on May 25/25.
*Delete as appropriate.

SIGNATURE .....................................................................................................

Please send joining fee cheque and entry form as soon as possible to:
FAO Chris Turner, XLtec Pro Golf Tour, c/o 110sport Management Ltd, First Floor, Pavilion 1, Castlecraig Business Park, Players Road, Stirling, FK7 7SH


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Matthew is keen to take the plunge

By Douglas Lowe

Catriona Matthew has carried herself with great dignity and poise since winning the Women’s British Open last year, but she would love nothing better than to let her hair down next week and take a running jump into a lake.
The first major champion­ship of the women’s golf season is looming. It is the Kraft Nabisco Championship over the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills and it is a great tradition there that the winner hurls herself into the water fronting the 18th green. Matthew would love nothing better than to take the plunge.
At world No.16, Scotland’s highest-ranked golfer is on a two-week sojourn starting next week with the Kia Classic at La Costa, Carlsbad, that used to be the regular venue for the men’s WGC matchplay champion­ship. She is looking for a decent week to set herself up for the big one.
An American major is now the burning ambition of Matthew, who last year surprised everyone, including herself, by becoming the first Scot to win a women’s major, at Royal Lytham, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, and she is raring to go.
“I’m playing well and looking forward to it,” she said. “I have had a good break. I usually take four or five weeks off without touching a club and that keeps me refreshed and keen.”
Matthew has had four top-10 finishes at Mission Hills, including runner-up three years ago, and the 40-year-old, whose career is likely to become more restricted when her children reach school age, knows that the clock is ticking and next week is a big opportunity.
“I’ve done well there in the past and I like the course so I am looking forward to it,” she said. “The US Open [at Oakmont] is also a big goal and likewise defending the British Open [at Royal Birkdale], so there are lots of things to aim for.”
Matthew will be back in Europe next month at the La Sella resort in Alicante, Spain, where she and Krystle Caithness will represent Scotland in the European Nations Cup.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stewart Spence, Dave McNicoll chip in £200 each for lady pro prize funds

Lesley Mackay ready to dust off the

clubs to have a go on XLtec Tour

It's nine years since she reached the final of the Scottish women's amateur championship at Carnoustie and five or six years since she last played for Scotland ... but Golspie-born Lesley Mackay is getting an itch to play competitively again!
Providing the stimulus is the new XLtec Pro Tour with its section for women professionals, six 36-hole events teeing off at Whitekirk Golf Club, near North Berwick on March 25-26.
When Lesley turned professional, it was with a view to gain WPGA credentials and becoming a coach and teacher of the game. She passed her WPGA test with colours flying so high that she gained a national award as the top trainee professional of her year (that's her pictured at the time with her trophy).
Here's Lesley's E-mail to
"Thanks for all the information about the new lady professional competitions. I may have to dust off the clubs and have a go. Just a bit busy just now with coaching Stirling University, Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire county as well as individual lessons at Playsport in East Kilbride."
Lesley Mackay
Another E-mail received from Carnoustie's Katy McNicoll, winner of the North of Scotland championship last year and now a professional. She's been back over the winter months in Florida where she spent four years playing the college circuit as a Lynn University graduate
"I won't make it back in time for the first event but will be home on April 6 so will be able to play in the future lady pro events. This is exactly what professional women's golf in Scotland needs. So thanks for pushing for us."
Katy McNicoll
It is hoped that each of the six events for female professionals on the XLtec Tour will have a little extra money from an outside source to boost the prize funds which would otherwise consist entirely of the sum of the £50 per competition entry fees.
I floated the idea earlier this week on that it would be a very nice gesture if six companies or individuals came forward, willing to chip in £200 each so that the girls would not be playing simply for their own money .
Stewart Spence, owner of The Marcliffe at Pitfodels Hotel, near Aberdeen, and Carnoustie Golf Shop owner, Dave McNicoll, former Dunfermline Athletic footballer and father of two rookie professionals himself, the aforementioned Katy and Keir, have wasted no time in stepping forward to make £200 donations.
"I'm delighted to be able to help the girls' section of the new XLtec Pro Tour," said Stewart who has a long history of putting his hand in his pocket to help young golfers, dating back to Muriel Thomson and Paul Lawrie and, of course, the Doug Sanders world and European boys championships when they were played in Aberdeen for so many years.
"I'll chip in £200 and ask a few of my pals to do the same. I think it's a great idea," said Dave.
If, at the end of the day, we get more than 6 x £200 donors, then we can divide the total over the six events.
If you want to add your name or your company name to the list, E-mail without delay.
You can name the venue at which you want to support the lady pros' prize fund:
March 25-26: Whitekirk.
April 28-29: Hilton Park.
May 25-26: Dalmahoy.
July 28-29. Westerwood.
September 28-29: Spey Valley, Aviemore.
October 6-7: Dundonald Links.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Carly Booth makes pro debut in Morocco:
Sponsorship deal with Nike on the cards

By Elspeth Burnside
Another chapter?in Carly Booth’s pioneering rise to the top level of world golf will unfold this ?coming week when she lines up in her first tournament as a professional at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
At just 17, she is the youngest?Scot to tee it up for cash and is also the baby of the Ladies’ European Tour. But Booth is accustomed to breaking ?barriers. Aged eight, she became the youngest girl to attain an adult handicap and three years later was the world’s youngest club champion at Dunblane.
Two years ago, she made history again by becoming ?the youngest player to line up for Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup at St Andrews. By then, she was a mature, talented and ?photogenic 15-year-old.
Now the blonde, bubbly teenager is ready to play alongside the big girls on the professional circuit. She passed through the LET qualifying school with flying colours at La Manga in Spain in December, but already has her sights on America and the more lucrative LPGA Tour, the home to the world’s greatest female players.
“I’ve already decided to enter the LPGA qualifying [school] towards the end of this year,” she said on the eve of flying out to Morocco for her first rookie test. “But I’m really looking forward to a season in Europe. My goal is just to do my best.”
Booth has already been recognised not only as a potentially world-class player, but as a sportswoman whose looks make her extremely marketable. Hence her appeal to sponsors – she is ready to sign a deal with Nike.
Naturally, this has contributed to comparisons with American teen sensation Michelle Wie, who turned professional at 15 and, after a bumpy ride, came good as a 19-year-old last year with a first LPGA victory and a Solheim Cup debut.
Booth’s parents have kept a keen eye on Wie’s various?peaks and troughs, and are aware that the pressure on a young talent can be enormous.
While they have done their utmost to protect her, their daughter has still encountered difficulty in preparing for her professional debut. Scotland’s foul winter and the necessary ?inconvenience of having to attend school forced her to squeeze in a quick trip to Spain to limber up.
“I had played very little since the Tour school in December?so it was great to get out to Marbella,” said Booth, who returned on Friday from a week spent in the Costa Del Sol resort with European Tour player Eric Ramsay and her boyfriend and caddie, Steven Brown.
In her final year of a golf scholarship at Glenalmond College, Booth will leave school when she is 18 in June. Before then, there are A level exams in art, English and physical education standing in her way.
She added: “It is difficult fitting in study when I am away so much. I expect to pass, but I’m not expecting As. [But] I’ve no intention of using them.”


Lynn Kenny and Heather MacRae
backing new pro tour lady events

Lynn Kenny has E-mailed Kirkwoodgolf from Melbourne Airport - she is on her way to London from the Australian Women's Open and is en route to an LET event in Morocco next week - to say that she is interested in supporting the lady professionals' section of the new Xltec Pro Tour, being started by Alan Tait, the director of golf at Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel, with the help of fellow PGA professional Nigel Scott-Smith (Palacerigg) and Chris Turner of 110sports Management Ltd.
Heather MacRae, being PGA-trained at Gullane, has also sent a message that she will play on the six-event schedule of 36-hole competitions when she can.
Earlier Kylie Walker and Clare Queen had said they would play, although Clare has a prior engagement which would rule her out of the first tournament, at Whitekirk Golf Club on March 25-26.
For the lady pros, the one-off fee to join the mini-tour is £40. The entry fee per event is £50 and there is also a £10 administration fee per competition.
A minimum of five entries from lady professionals is required for each event to take place and it would be nice if each winner could be guaranteed at least £350. If the number of entries goes well into double figures, then the prize fund and with it the first prize at each event will increase substantially.
Six sponsors at £200 or one sponsor at £1,200, which would cover all six competitions, would be welcomed. From an entry of only 10 lady pros playing £50 each, that would give a prize fund of £700 per meeting with a possible prize list of 1 - £350, 2 - £150, 3 - £80, 4 - £60, 5 - £60.
It's not much, but it would be a start. It has long been my view that there should be a second tier framework of competitions, i.e. one down from the Ladies European Tour, for female professionals, to keep them active and for rookies to take the first step up from playing as amateurs.
If you can help or you know someone who might be able to help in the one or all six competitions' sponsorship detailed above, please E-mail and this is also the E-mail address for any lady professionals who want to register their interest in the new tour.
Each event over 36 holes.
March 25-26: Whitekirk.
April 28-29: Hilton Park.
May 25-26: Marriott Dalmahoy.
July 28-29: Westerwood.
September 28-29: Spey Valley, Aviemore.
October 6-7: Dundonald Links.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kylie Walker, has the length off the tee required to make an impact as a tour professional (image by Cal Carson Golf Agency; click on it to enlarge).

Be patient, Catriona tells rookie pro Kylie Walker

By Richard Wilson
Kylie Walker will not feel out ?of place. Since turning professional last December, she has already been invited to Catriona Matthew’s home in North Berwick, where they shared a conversation about life on the Ladies European Tour. By the time she tees off in her first tournament, in Morocco on Thursday, Walker will have caught up with other fellow Scots competing at the forefront of the women’s game.
Matthew’s advice was that only patience would be rewarded. Walker’s career has been compressed, having only taken up the sport seriously at 14 and now having qualified for the Tour at 23.
There was an accumulation of distinction. Last year, she won the St Rule Trophy for the second consecutive year, repeating the achievements of Matthew in 1993 and 1994.
Walker also won the 2008 Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association Order of Merit title, and she was the highest-placed British golfer at the Ladies European Tour's Qualifying School at La Manga, Spain in December.
There might have been a failed attempt at the January 2009 qualifying school, but even that is considered beneficial, as Walker believes she is now better equipped.
There is a bullishness to her, so when she considers what might be attainable in this first year, there is little reticence.
“I would love to do well right from the start and be contending,” she says. “I’m going into every tournament to win, but that might be unrealistic. But I played some Ladies Tour events before, as an amateur.”
With Carly Booth joining the Tour, and Krystle Caithness, another Scot, having enjoyed a successful rookie year in 2009, Walker is not short of support. Her older brother, Kris, will also caddie for her.
“Everybody in my family played,” Walker says. “My two sisters and brother are all older than me, so when my dad was making up the four-ball, I was always left behind. I guess that’s why it took until I was 14 before I started. Then I won the Scottish schoolgirls' title, which made me realise that I could still have moments of brilliance even with my handicap being high.”
Sponsorship and finance are pressures, so the first months of this year have been spent sorting out a website and seeking backers. Mostly, though, her time is spent looking forward. At the very least, Walker will play in the final qualifiers for the British Ladies Open in July. Having won the event last year, Matthew is an inspiration.
Walker spent last week in Dubai, where her brother and one of her sisters live. She worked on her short game and began focusing on what the coming months will bring. There are also long-term ambitions.
“If you’re going to be at the top, America’s the place to be, the best [golfers] in the world are there,” she says. “In the future, I’ll look to get out there to compete.”
+Kylie Walker was the first Scottish lady pro to say she would play on the new Xltec Pro Tour which tees off - with a Ladies section if enough enter - at Whitekirk Golf Club on March 25.


Australian Women's Open at Melbourne

Karrie Webb leads by one with a round to go

Karrie Webb is poised to capture her fifth Australian Open title after a business like 3 under 70 at Melbourne’s Commonwealth Course today.
Last week’s ANZ Ladies Masters winner will go into tomorrow’s final round on 6 under 213, one shot ahead of overnight leader Italian Giulia Sergas, while defending champion Laura Davies, looms at two shots back on 4 under.
The 35-year-old Webb rarely missed a green in regulation today and has recorded just one bogey in her last 36 holes. This week is her fourth tournament in a row and the LPGA Hall of Famer was in a state of disbelief at how well she is still swinging it.
“I am surprised because this is the first time in many years that I have played four tournaments in a row,” she said.
“I have a bit left in me and let’s see if it is good enough for tomorrow.”
If Webb does win tomorrow it will be third time she has captured the Ladies Masters/Open double but that will not be uppermost in her mind tomorrow.
“I have to actually win tomorrow before I do that,” she said. “I still have a good 18 holes left.”
Italian Giulia Sergas
Playing in the final group on a Sunday is a new experience for 30-year-old Sergas. After eight years on tour she remains winless. Yesterday she revealed how she talks to the course throughout her round. While it worked yesterday in her round of four under 69, today there were a few crossed wires out there.
“I tried but I wasn’t hitting it where it was pointing at,” she laughed.
“It was like ‘I told you here, what are you doing?’ so I had to kind of take different ways today.”
There were only five back stretching handstands for her bad back on the course today, but Sergas has promised the crowd a victory handstand on 18 should she win her first professional tournament tomorrow.
A Laura Davies handstand would also be fun to watch but the Brit will probably celebrate in a different manner tomorrow should she go back to back.
In order to win her second tournament from four starts Down Under, Davies said she would have to be a lot straighter than she was today.
Still, there is nothing better than a Davies miracle shot, and she thrilled the crowd today with her stunning 221m two iron on the par 5 13th from behind the trees.
“That was a ten, definitely,” she said.
“We were trying to get in the front bunker, we didn’t think it would get on the green, then I almost got my eagle putt.”
Davies said Webb was definitely the threat tomorrow.
“Nothing against Giulia but Webby has won what, five (sic) Opens already and seven Masters, she likes this little time of the year in March doesn’t she?”
Also not out of the race tomorrow is Katherine Hull who is on 3 under 216, one shot ahead of World No 6 Yani Tseng and 17-year-old South Korean, Soo-Jin Yang on 2 under 217.
England’s Melissa Reid said even though she is five shots back on 1 under 218, she could still claim the Patricia Bridges Bowl.
“I still fancy my chances of winning,” she said.
“I just said to Mardy my caddy, if we get a few going on the front nine there is no reason we can’t shoot a low one tomorrow.”
Par 219 (3x73)
213 Karrie Webb (Australia) 73 70 70.
214 Giulia Sergas (Italy) 70 69 75.
215 Laura Davies (England) 68 76 71.
216 Katherine Hull (Australia) 72 72 72.
217 Yani Tseng (Taiwan 74 71 72, Soo-Jin Yang (South Korea) 70 72 75
218 Melissa Reid (ENG) England 72 76 70, Azahara Munoz (Spain) 76 72 70, Stacy Lewis (US) 75 71 72, Anna Nordqvist (Sweden) 75 70 73.
219 Par Hyun-Soo Kim (South Korea) (amateur) 78 69 72, Lindsey Wright (Australia) 71 74 74.
220 Hee-Kyung Seo (South Korea) 72 78 70, Stefanie Michl (Austria) 71 72 77, He-Yong Choi (South Korea) 73 69 78.
221 Jeong Jang (South Korea) 76 73 72, Stephanie Na (Australia) 76 73 72, Elizabeth Bennett (England) 73 75 73, Alexis Thompson (US) (amateur) 71 75 75, Rebecca Flood (Australia) 70 73 78.
222 Anna Oh (South Korea) 78 72 72, Rachel Bailey (Australia) 73 77 72,Vicky Hurst (US) 72 76 74, Christel Boeljon (Netherlands) 72 75 75, Alison Whitaker (Australia) (amateur) 70 74 78.
223 Sarah-Jane Smith (Australia) 77 71 75, Shin-Ae Ahn (South Korea) 78 70 75, Lorie Kane (Canada) 73 75 75, Karine Icher (France) 72 75 76, Felicity Johnson (England) 70 75 78.
224 Titiya Plucksataporn (Thailand) 78 73 73, Su Hyun Oh (South Korea) (amateur) 79 72 73, Bo-Mee Lee (South Korea) 77 73 74, Louise Stahle (Sweden) 75 74 75, Michelle Ellis (Australia) 75 73 76, Ha-Neul Kim (South Korea) 73 75 76, Mina Harigae (US) 74 74 76.
225 Tania Elosegui (Spain) 77 75 73, Bree Turnbull (Australia)74 78 73,Iben Tinning (Denmark) 77 74 74, Diana D'Alessio (US) 77 74 74, Janice Moodie (Scotland) 76 75 74, Kristie Smith (Australia) 72 78 75, Kym Larratt (England) 73 76 76, Becky Brewerton (Wales) 77 70 78.
226 Caroline Afonso (France) 78 73 75, Sandra Gal (Germany) 77 74 75, Riikka Hakkarainen (Finland) 72 78 76, Tamie Durdin (Australia) 76 74 76, You-Na Park (South Korea) 75 74 77, Stacey Keating (Australia) (amateur) 76 72 78, Frances Bondad (Australia) 74 73 79, Jenni Kuosa (Finland) 70 76 80.
227 Christina Kim (US) 78 74 75, Sarah Nicholson (New Zealand) 76 76 75, Bree Arthur (Australia) 76 76 75, Ran Hong (South Korea) 77 74 76, Rebecca Hudson (England) 74 77 76,
Emma Bennett (Australia) 78 72 77, Marjet van der Graaff (Netherlands) 73 75 79, Sophie Gustafson (Sweden) 75 73 79, Marianne Skarpnord (Norway) 75 72 80.
228 Sophie Walker (England) 76 75 77, Tamara Beckett (Australia) 74 76 78, Bettina Hauert (Germany) 77 72 79, Sarah Oh (Australia) 72 77 79.
229 Leanne Bowditch (Australia) 78 73 78, Nina Reis (Sweden) 74 76 79.
230 Veronica Zorzi (Italy) 79 73 78, Wendy Doolan (Australia) 79 72 79, Krystle Caithness (Scotland) 74 77 79.
231 Lynn Kenny (Scotland) 74 78 79.
232 Cathryn Bristow (New Zealand) 75 77 80.
+Official scores from the Ladies European Tour website.


Kylie Walker says she'll play on Tait's Tour - if others do

Rookie tour pro Kylie Walker has welcomed the news that Alan Tait's new Xltic Pro Tour will have a ladies' section at each of the six scheduled venues for the 36-hole events.
"I would be interested in playing if they get the numbers," Kylie has E-mailed
Now we need the same positive response from others.
A minimum of five female players is required for each event but, of course, Alan Tait is hoping for at least double figures in each ladies' field, building up as the season advances.
Watch this space.
E-mail if you are eligible to play in the ladies' events on the Xltic Pro Tour and want to enter.

E-mail from CLARE QUEEN
Hi Colin, I am interested in playing in the Xltic events. Unfortunately I won't be able to make the first event at Whitekirk though.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Tait's Tour ready to welcome lady

professionals with open arms!

Alan Tait, founder of the new Xltec Pro Tour in Scotland, has agreed to my suggestion that he makes room for female professionals in his six 36-hole event schedule which tees off at Whitekirk Golf Club, near North Berwick on March 25 and 26.
" We thought that as there is very little opportunity for our few lady professional golfers to play competitively in Scotland, why not get them involved as well. The more the merrier!" said Alan, director of golf at the Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Golf Resort.
"At the end of the day, the Xltec Tour is all about giving pros more opportunity to compete and this should include everyone. As long as we get a minimum of five girls entering each event, they can play for a separate, smaller prize-fund and I am sure they will be a breath of fresh air to the tour".
Tait and his organising colleagues are hoping that star amateurs-turned-rookie-pros Carly Booth (pictured above, left) and Kylie Walker (pictured above, right) will cut their teeth on the homespun tour before they have a go at the Ladies European Tour.
Others who might play are LET regulars Vikki Laing, Lynn Kenny and Krystle Caithness, WPGA assistant professional Heather MacRae as well as Clare Queen, Pamela Feggans, Jenna Wilson, Katy McNicoll, Gemma Webster, Kathryn Imrie, Karyn Burns, Lesley Mackay, Karyn Dallas, Katie Thomson, Nicola Meldrum, Michele Thomson, Cathy Panton-Lewis and Gillian Stewart.
There is always the chance that British Women's Open champion Catriona Matthew and fellow LPGA Tour members Janice Moodie and Mhairi McKay would put in an appearance when they are back in Scotland, if only for a short break.
Then there are established lady professionals, who have long since retired from the competitive side of the game, such as Muriel Thomson (Portlethen GC head professional) and Jane Connachan, who might welcome the chance to mix it with the younger brigade.
The possibilities are endless and it will be shame if the idea never gets off the ground because of apathy and lack of numbers.
It is hoped to interest WPGA female professionals based in the North and North-east of England for whom the journey north would not be as much a deterrent as it would be for those based in the south of England.
The female pros will have to pay a one-off joining fee of £40 plus a £50 entry fee for each 36-hole event plus a £10 administration fee per competition.
They will play off the LGU red tees at every venue and will be competiing against themselves, NOT the men.
Although the girls will be competing, in a sense, for their own money, it is hoped that as the tour gains publicity and becomes better known, companies or individuals may be persuaded to sponsor individual events.
While male pros have no inhibitions about playing for their own money, hence the success of satellite circuits such as the EuroPro Tour, where the entry fees are big to create worthwhile prize funds, female professionals are much harder to please ... and I talk from the experience of being Tournament Controller at the first two Hacienda del Alamo Women's February Festivals.
It remains to be seen if the female pros will be lukewarm about a lack of prizemoney up front for them at "Tait's Tour." I hope they take the longer-term view that the circuit, which will certainly need the players' support through its first season, could grow into a ladies' version of the Tartan Tour.
The schedule of events is:
March 25-26: Whitekirk, near North Berwick.
April 28-29: Hilton Park, near Glasgow.
May 25-26: Marriott Dalmahoy, near Edinburgh.
July 28-29: Westerwood, near Glasgow.
September 28-29: Spey Valley, Aviemore.
October 6-7 Dundonald Links, near Troon, Ayrshire.
+Entry forms and more information available by E-mailing


Leader Sergas is on same wave-length as the course

Giulia Sergas leads the Handa Women’s Australian Open at Melbourne’s Commonwealth course by three shots - all thanks to an unusual approach to the game.
The 30-year-old, who today shot a bogey-free, four-under 69, revealed she talks to the course to get her through each tournament.
“I try to establish a relationship with the golf course,” she said.
“We talk to each other and if you listen well and you don’t get caught up in your emotion, then the golf course really talks to you.
“When it is a difficult course like this, you really have to pay attention what it is saying at the moment.”
Sergas, on seven-under-par 136, leads South Korean teenagers, He-Yong Choi and Soo-Jin Yang who are both on 4 under. A shot further back is Karrie Webb, Rebecca Flood and Austrian Stefanie Michl.
While talking to the course is one thing, Sergas also does handstands mid-round to help an ailing back.
“It helps my back and pops. When I really concentrate and do it properly, it helps my back tremendously,” she said.
Sergas said her back is so bad that she does the handstand to put it in a type of traction. She does the handstand and her understanding caddy, Lee Griffith, then holds her feet. She does a type of push up to relieve the pressure on her vertebrae.
“I really was embarrassed at the beginning but then people just laughed so I am okay with it,” she said.
Last week’s ANZ Ladies Masters winner, Karrie Webb, who is more accustomed to jumping into creeks after a victory, bounced back today with a 70. It was an improvement on Thursday’s roller coaster even par round but still it could have been better. She three-putted the 13th for her only bogey of the day.
“I threw one away on 13 which was very disappointing, but you know it is Friday, if that happens on a Sunday you are kicking yourself,” she said.
“The first one was a bad putt and the second one was just lazy, there was a pitch mark in front of me and I didn’t take the time to fix it.”
Just four shots back at the halfway mark does not phase the 35-year-old.
“The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend and four shots is not much to make up,” she said.
Overnight leader Laura Davies, who followed an opening 68 with a 76, is in a tie for seventh with Katherine Hull and amateur Alison Whittaker, after a 3 over 76 today.
World No 7 Yani Tseng, Kent-born Australian Lindsey Wright, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and England's Felicity Johnson rounded out the top ten at one under for the tournament.
SCOTSWATCH: Three of the four Scots in the field survived the halfway cut at 152 or better.
The odd one out was Vikki Laing who followed an opening 77 with an 83 for 160. LPGA Tour player Janice Moodie and Krystle Caithness both made it through on 151, Janice with rounds of 76 and 75, Krystle with a 74 plus a 77. Lynn Kenny had nothing to spare with 74 and 78 for 152.

Par 146 (2x73)
1 Giulia Sergas 70 69 -- -- 139
T2 He-Yong Choi 73 69-- -- 142
T2 Soo-Jin Yang 70 72 -- -- 142
T4 Rebecca Flood 70 73 -- -- 143
T4 Stefanie Michl 71 72 -- -- 143
T4 Karrie Webb 73 70 -- -- 143
T7 Laura Davies 68 76 -- -- 144
T7 Katherine Hull 72 72 -- -- 144
T7 Alison Whitaker (amateur) 70 74 -- -- 144
T10 Felicity Johnson 70 75 -- -- 145
T10 Anna Nordqvist 75 70 -- -- 145
T10 Yani Tseng 74 71 -- -- 145
T10 Lindsey Wright 71 74 -- -- 145
T14 Jenni Kuosa E 70 76 -- -- 146
T14 Stacy Lewis 75 71 -- -- 146
T14 Alexis Thompson (amateur) 71 75 -- -- 146
T17 Christel Boeljon 72 75 -- -- 147
T17 Frances Bondad 74 73 -- -- 147
T17 Rebecca Brewerton 77 70 -- -- 147
T17 Karine Icher 72 75 -- -- 147
T17 Hyun-Soo Kim (amateur) 78 69 -- -- 147
T17 Marianne Skarpnord 75 72 -- -- 147
T23 Shin-Ae Ahn 78 70 -- -- 148
T23 Elizabeth Bennett 73 75 -- -- 148
T23 Michelle Ellis 75 73 -- -- 148
T23 Sophie Gustafson 75 73 -- -- 148
T23 Mina Harigae 74 74 -- -- 148
T23 Vicky Hurst 72 76 -- -- 148
T23 Lorie Kane 73 75 -- -- 148
T23 Stacey Keating (amateur) 76 72 -- -- 148
T23 Ha-Neul Kim 73 75-- -- 148
T23 Azahara Munoz 76 72 -- -- 148
T23 Melissa Reid 72 76 -- -- 148
T23 Sarah-Jane Smith 77 71 -- -- 148
T23 Marjet van der Graaff 73 75 -- -- 148
T36 Bettina Hauert 77 72 -- -- 149
T36 Jeong Jang 76 73 -- -- 149
T36 Kym Larratt 73 76 -- -- 149
T36 Stephanie Na 76 73 -- -- 149
T36 Sarah Oh 72 77 -- -- 149
T36 You-Na Park 75 74 -- -- 149
T36 Louise Stahle 75 74 -- -- 149
T43 Rachel Bailey 73 77 -- -- 150
T43 Tamara Beckett 74 76 -- -- 150
T43 Emma Bennett 78 72 -- -- 150
T43 Tamie Durdin 76 74 -- -- 150
T43 Riikka Hakkarainen 72 78 -- -- 150
T43 Bo-Mee Lee 77 73 -- -- 150
T43 Anna Oh 78 72 -- -- 150
T43 Nina Reis 74 76 -- -- 150
T43 Hee-Kyung Seo 72 78 -- -- 150
T43 Kristie Smith 72 78 -- -- 150
T53 Caroline Afonso 78 73 -- -- 151
T53 Leanne Bowditch 78 73 -- -- 151
T53 Krystle Caithness 74 77 -- -- 151
T53 Diana D'Alessio 7774 -- -- 151
T53 Wendy Doolan 79 72 -- -- 151
T53 Sandra Gal 77 74 -- -- 151
T53 Ran Hong 77 74 -- -- 151
T53 Rebecca Hudson 74 77 -- -- 151
T53 Janice Moodie 76 75 -- -- 151
T53 Su Hyun Oh (amateur) 79 72 -- -- 151
T53 Titiya Plucksataporn 78 73 -- -- 151
T53 Iben Tinning 77 74 -- -- 151
T53 Sophie Walker 76 75 -- -- 151
T66 Bree Arthur 76 76 -- -- 152
T66 Cathryn Bristow 75 77 -- -- 152
T66 Tania Elosegui 77 75 -- -- 152
T66 Lynn Kenny 74 78 -- -- 152
T66 Christina Kim 78 74 -- -- 152
T66 Sarah Nicholson 76 76 -- -- 152
T66 Bree Turnbull 74 78 -- -- 152
T66 Veronica Zorzi 79 73 -- -- 152
Jeong Eun Lee 77 76 - 153
Becky Morgan 77 76 - 153
Ursula Wikstrom 77 76 - 153
Georgina Simpson 77 76 - 153
Hanna-Leena Salonen 76 77 -153
Amanda Blumenherst 77 76 - 153
Ashleigh Simon 77 76 - 153
Pernilla Lindberg 77 76 - 153
Vicky Thomas 76 77 - 153
Hazel Kavanagh 76 77 - 153
Jessica Ji 76 77 - 153
Dana Lacey 76 77 - 153
Emma Cabrera-Bello 79 75 -- 154
Anne-Lise Caudal 78 76 -- 154
Rebecca Coakley 77 77 -- 154
Nikki Garrett 76 78 -- 154
Lydia Hall 76 78 -- 154
Leah Hart 75 79 -- 154
Sarah Kemp 75 79 -- 154
Virginie Lagoutte-Clement 77 77 -- 154
Lee-Anne Pace 79 75 -- 154
Florentyna Parker 76 78 -- 154
Hannah Ralph 75 79 -- 154
Melanie Bryden 78 77 -- 155
Mi-Sun Cho 77 78 -- 155
Kate Combes 78 77 -- 155
Sophie Giquel 77 78 -- 155
Justine Lee (amateur) 75 80 -- 155
Bronwyn Mullins 78 77 --- 155
Jessica Noh 78 77 -- 155
Zoe Brake (amateur) 80 76 -- 156
Meaghan Francella 78 78 -- 156
Julie Greciet 78 78 -- 156
Caroline Rominger 74 82 -- 156
Linda Wessberg 78 78 -- 156
Danielle Bowers 76 81 -- 157
Hye Youn Kim 79 78 -- 157
Ji-Na Lim 79 78 -- 157
Alison Walshe 80 77 -- 157
Carmen Alonso 83 75 -- 158
Jane Kim 75 83 -- 158
Taylor Leon 77 81 -- 158
Karen Lunn 79 79 -- 158
Bo Mi Suh 79 79 -- 158
Chae Young Yoon 79 79 -- 158
Beth Allen 80 79 -- 159
Carlie Butler 82 77 -- 159
Breanne Loucks 77 82 -- 159
Joanne Mills 74 85 -- 159
Ashley Ona (amateur) 77 82 -- 159
Vikki Tutt 80 79-- 159
Mianne Bagger 80 80 -- 160
Bo-Kyung Kim 81 79 -- 160
Vikki Laing 77 83 -- 160
Julia Boland (amateur) 80 81 -- 161
Stacy Lee Bregman 82 79 --- 161
Lisa Jean 85 76 -- 161
Elissa Orr (amateur) 78 83 -- 161
Karen Pearce 81 80 -- 161
Verity Knight 82 80 -- 162
Gwladys Nocera 84 78 -- 162
Ellen Davies-Graham (amateur) 81 82 -- 163
Jessica Speechley (amateur) 8083 -- 163
Katy Jarochowicz 83 81 -- 164
Jayde Panos (amateur) 82 82 -- 164
Sunny Park 79 85-- 164
Wendy Berger 84 81 -- 165
Jody Fleming 86 79 -- 165
Stacy Tate 81 84 -- 165
Angela Tatt 86 79 -- 165
Tamara Hyett 84 83 -- 167
Helen Oh 84 84 -- 168
Cherie Byrnes 84 87 -- 171
Nicole Montgomery 89 83 -- 172
Martina Eberl -- -- -- 81
Whitney Hillier (amateur)-- 85
Jan Stephenson -- -- -- 82