Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Take a bow, Paul! The introduction of the Paul Lawrie Scottish Ladies Open Tour almost certainly played a part in a significant upturn in the fortunes of Scotland's lady pro golfers at the 2013 Ladies European Tour Final Q School.
Twelve months ago only one Scot, Vikki Laing, made it through to the final day of the LET Qualifying School.
But this time round Sally Watson was the star with a birdie blitz over the Samanah course, Marrakech in Morocco to finish joint second in the Final Q School and thus earn Category 8 membership which will get her into all the events on the 2014 LET Schedule.
Heather MacRae (jt 34th), Kelsey MacDonald (jt 34th), Pamela Feggans (jt 47th) and Michele Thomson (61st) finished outside the top 31 who earned full membership but their Category 9b membership for final placings between 32nd and 61st will give them enough starts on the LET in 2014 to follow the example of Charley Hull who finished 36th at last year's Final Q School but did so well in her early starts that she gained Solheim Cup team selection and finished the season as LET Rookie of the Year with a tidy sum of earnings.

All five Scots who made it to the Final Day in Morocco had played on the inaugural Paul Lawrie Ladies Tour's schedule of 14 events from April to October.
Edinburgh-born Watson, 22, whose family home is now Elie, 12 miles south of St Andrews, was understandably excited that only six months after graduating from Tiger Wood's alma mater, Stanford University, California and turning pro, she had earned a place in Europe's "Big League."
Sally shot 73, 71, 74, 68 and 68 for a five-under-par total of 355, eight shots behind the "winner," Caroline Martens (Norway)
"I was in a really good frame of mind. I was really excited about today. I know in the past in pressurised situations I’ve been a little more on the apprehensive side, but I was definitely excited about the opportunity," said Watson.
"I actually got off to a bad start and bogeyed the first but in some respects I think that settled me down. It got me back into a good routine and reiterated for me to focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves."
Sally had six birdies over a purple patch of 12 holes from the second to the 13th in her closing 68.
"I’m so excited. It’s been a long year and I just graduated from Stanford University in June. I did not have a good spring at all which is not what you want as you turn professional. It’s been a lot of work since then to get my game in shape to really be able to compete for this. I feel like I got better every round."
"The owners of Castle Stuart golf course have been very good with financial support as I turned pro.
"I’ll definitely be looking for Rookie of the Year at the end of the 2014 season although I know that playing on the LET for the first year will be and a learning experience. I was in a couple of the Access Series events towards the end of the season which were a good experience to get used to the travelling in foreign countries, and the professional life. It’s definitely a difference from college golf where you’re travelling with five other girls in a team atmosphere."
Gleneagles staff pro Heather MacRae signed off with a four-birdie 73 and Nairn's Kelsey MacDonald a 74, in which she parred the last nine holes after two birdies and four bogeys on the outward half , as they tied for 34th place on 364, only a couple of shots over five rounds away from gaining Category 8 LET membership like Sally Watson.

Doone Valley, Ayrshire's Pamela Feggans, who birdied the ninth, 16th and 18th, had a double bogey 6 at the 15th in her 73 for 368 while Michele Thomson had a nightmare birdie-less 81 (41-40) for 376.

The former Scottish women's amateur champion and 2008 Curtis Cup player from Ellon had a triple bogey 7 at the 13th and a double bogey 5 at the short third.  

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