Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Both Marriott Dalmahoy courses were closed today because of very heavy rain but Alan Tait, director of golf at the Edinburgh venue is optimistic that the first 18-hole tournament in the inaugural Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Scottish Ladies Open Tour will go ahead tomorrow afternoon with a field of 19 lady professionals and eight single-figure female amateurs.
 "The girls that were here for a practice round were just hitting balls in the rain on the practice ground instead," said Tait.

"The forecast is not that bad for tomorrow and I am confident we will be OK, albeit a bit wet underfoot. It is likely that preferred lies at one club length will be in operation for the tournament."
The tour is designed to be a stepping stone to the Ladies European Tour and the organisers, Colin Farquharson and PGA teaching pro Nicolas Melville, are encouraged by the fact that already there are entries from Switzerland, the Netherlands and England.
They expect the the number of entries to rise as the 14-event schedule which ends with a 36-hole Tour Championship back at Dalmahoy in October progresses and receives coverage in the media.

There is a good deal of quality in the first field which includes former Curtis Cup players in Musselburgh's Vikki Laing, Michele Thomson (Ellon), Florida-based Heather Stirling, Krystle Faulkner (Krystle Caithness before her marriage) (pictured left in a LET event on Tenerife) and Gleneagle's Heather MacRae who has performed with distinction on the men's Tartan Tour.
Broomieknowe amateur Kate McIntosh was a late entry today and her £50 entry fee ensured that the first prize at Dalmahoy would be £800 from a prizefund of £2,850. 
The best 12 scores will earn either cash prizes or amateur vouchers. There will also be additional amateur prizes if none of them finish on the main prize list for the day.
And there are Order of Merit points at stake in every event. The pro with the most points after the Tour Championship wlll win an all-expenses-paid trip to the LET Qualifying School Stage 1 in Morocco.
The amateur with the most end-of-season points will win a stay at self-catering accommodation at Gleneagles Village up to the maximum value of £500.
Said Alan Tait:  
"I am personally delighted that Dalmahoy will be hosting the inaugural tournament. The tour gets my full support and I have made it no secret over the years that I have felt frustrated that our leading up and coming players do not get enough opportunity to play tournament golf at professional level, for both men and women. 
"More and more of our players choose to go down south or even to the Continent to play in similar satellite tours which obviously can be very costly.
"I think it is great that we can provide such a tour on our own doorstep. Players have to stay competitive, need a card in their hand and play under tournament conditions to help them develop, and progress to the next level."

Dalmahoy has invested in excess of £100,000 in an extensive drainage programme which is why Tait is confident that the excess water will clear in time for the tournament to start at three minutes from 2pm.
"I am sure the girls will enjoy the venue and I am looking forward to being there to help launch the start of this exciting new Ladies Tour."
There is no car parking charge or admission fee for spectators who want to follow the players at Dalmahoy tomorrow and at Ratho Park on Friday.
The players love playing in front of galleries so don't disappoint them.
There is a £20,000 Arnold Clark Edinburgh Kia car for the first player to hole in one at Dalmahoy's 17th hole.

(professionals in capitals)         
13:57 - HEATHER MacRAE (SCO) (Gleneagles Hotel), HEATHER STIRLING (SCO), Kate McIntosh (Broomieknowe) (am).

14:06 - LAURA MURRAY (SCO) (Alford), AILSA BAIN (SCO) (Peebles), Hannah Scott (Broomieknowe GC) (am).
14:15 - GEMMA WEBSTER (SCO) (Elie Sports Club), LAURA HARVEY (ENG) (Darlington), Alyson McKechin (Elderslie GC) (am).

14:24 - KIMBERLEY CROOKS (ENG) (Middlesbrough), TATIANA KERNEN (SWI), Jessica Meek (Carnoustie Ladies GC) (am). 

14:33 - PAMELA FEGGANS (Patna, Ayrshire), CHRISJE DE VRIES (NET) (Netherlands), Jane Turner (Craigielaw GC) (am).

14:42 - DAISY DYER (ENG) (Chigwell, Essex), MARTINE POW (SCO) (Selkirk), Rachel Walker (Dumfries and Co GC) (am).

14:51: MICHELE THOMSON (SCO) (Ellon), KRYSTLE FAULKNER (SCO) (Archerfield), Nicholas Ferguson (Milngavie GC) (am).

15:00 - LISA SHERVILL (ENG) (West Kilbride), ELEANOR GIVENS (ENG) (Darlington), Tara MacTaggart (Minto GC) (am).

15.09 - FABIENNE IN-ALBON (SWI) (Switzerland), VIKKI LAING (SCO) (Musselburgh), Jess Wilcox (Blankney GC, Lincolnshire) (am). 

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