Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Heather MacRae set for a return to the old
routine with the help of Craig Lee

Scottish golf pro Heather MacRae will take part in her
first competitive tournament following major surgery
to combat cervical cancer when she tees off in the
Golfbreaks.com PGA Four-ball Championship final this
MacRae, 35, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in
March and underwent surgery in mid-June a handful
of days after winning the Women’s PGA Championship
for the second time.
As well as being her first competitive outing, the 54-
hole tournament at Farleigh Golf Club in Surrey will, to
 all intents and purposes, be her first round of golf.
“I played my first five holes on a proper golf course a week or so before the tournament,” said MacRae who will team up
 with fellow PGA Professional Craig Lee.
“And I hope to play 18 holes for the first time before
Being fit to take part in the popular PGA tournament
with her friend and compatriot was one of the post-
surgery goals she set herself. Nevertheless, the PGA
pro, who is attached to Stirling Golf Club, has
adopted a softly, softly approach on the road to making a full recovery.
“I have been really cautious,” she explained. “I don’t
want anything to knock me back. I didn’t hit a driver
until a couple of days ago but I have practised my
short game.”
She anticipates, however, that any issues she
encounters will not be ring rustiness but fatigue.
“It’s more just feeling tired that gets me,” admitted
MacRae. “The surgeon said a few weeks ago I would
be fine just swinging the club and building things up.
“But feeling exhausted after nine-holes on a mini
course has been difficult to get my head round. It
doesn’t feel as you’re doing that much but it kind of
wipes you out.
“I did some work with the Scotland team in the Home
Internationals a couple of weeks ago and we walked
 the course before the matches.
“It was the most I’d done since the operation and I
was absolutely exhausted. I spent the rest of the
week riding round in a buggy.
“As far as Farleigh is concerned, I’ll be fine. I don’t
feel stressed about it because it’s four-ball.
“If I get tired over the last few holes, I have a good
 partner. Hopefully he’ll carry me most of the way and
 I’ll try and help where I can.”
MacRae and Lee will be in a 60-strong field vying for a
 portion of the £33,250 prize purse. They will be
 joined by defending champions Jack Winer and Jack
 Watts and the duos that finished second and third at
 Belton Woods last year.
Adam Keogh and Michael Reed lost in a play-off
against Winer and Watts, and Michael Watson and
Richard O’Hanlon were third, having been runners-up
in 2017.

Image of Craig Lee (left) and Heather MacRae free to use courtesy of Richard Martin-Roberts, Getty Images.


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