Daily Round-Up: Pamela Pretswell and Sally Watson to fly Scottish flag in China

Sally Watson. Picture: SNS
Sally Watson. Picture: SNS
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Sally Watson and Pamela Pretswell will represent Scotland in next week’s World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

The tournament is primarily a 72-hole individual strokeplay event, but also features a team competition, based on the combined scores of 15 pairs from different countries.

Pretswell finished sixth in the individual competition last year and is feeling confident ahead of the fifth edition.

“I was looking forward to this tournament anyway, as I always love playing in China,” she said.

“But representing Scotland with Sally obviously makes the event even more exciting and we will do our best to raise the Saltire on the Sunday evening.”

Watson added: “I really enjoyed the experience of playing in last year’s World Ladies Championship and I am very excited to be representing Scotland again.

“I am also thrilled to have Pamela as my team-mate, she is a great player and I think we will bring a strong team to this year’s tournament.

“I am sure we will both be hoping to make our country proud by putting in a strong performance and it would be amazing for us to add a team win to our résumés.”

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Three Scots - Connor Syme, Liam Johnston and Grant Forrest - have qualified for the knock-out phase of the Spanish Amateur Championship at Royal Seville Golf Club.

Bidding to follow up his win in the Australian equivalent earlier in the year, Syme finished as the leading Scot out of six hopefuls after the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying.

The Drumoig Golf Centre player slipped down the leaderboard after following his opening 70 with a 75 but still qualified comfortably in joint-13th.

Johnston finished a shot behind in joint-22nd after the Dumfries & County man carded rounds of 74 and 72.

Forrest needed a second-round 70 to be among the 32 qualifiers as the Craigielaw player bounced back well from an opening 77.

Welshman Owen Edwards (66-72) led the qualifiers on 138, one in front of Ugo Cossaud (70-69) and two better than Amateur champion Romain Langasque (76-64) and Guido Migliozzi (71-69).

Scottish champion Bob MacIntyre (75-73) missed out by a shot while Ewen Ferguson (76-74) and Jack McDonald (77-74) fell three and four short respectively.

In the first round, Forrest faces Colm Campbell, Syme is up against Francisco Rosete Fabos and Johnston takes on Ivan Cantero Guiterrez.

In the Spanish Women’s Amateur Championship at Escorpion Golf Club in Valencia, Grantown-on-Spey’s Hannah McCook made it to the match-play stage.

With rounds of 76 and 74, she finished as the 23rd qualifier and meets Swede Sarah Nilsson in the opening round.

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European Tour duo Stephen Gallacher and Richie Ramsay are helping a Lothians golf club as it rallies to support one of its members.

Faced with a long road to rehabilitation and recovery, his fellow members at West Lothian Golf Club have organised a golf day there on March 19 to meet some of the costs.

“Initially, we had hoped to fill 72 places and have a shotgun start but we’ve had to close the entry at 176 competitors,” said Barrie Lewis.

“We now have over 30 sponsors who have sponsored various packages while there has also been some outstanding sports memorabilia donated, including signed items from both Richie Ramsay and Stephen Gallacher, for an auction.

“It looks like the sum raised will be north of £20,000. This is an unbelievable amount and will hopefully go some way to helping with our good friend’s recovery.

“The way the Bo’ness townsfolk have rallied around Mark’s family at this challenging time has been very humbling and is something Mark’s parents, Joe and Lynne, have appreciated greatly.”

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Minjee Lee and Candie Kung fired first-round five-under-par 67s to top the leaderboard at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

The pair sit one shot clear of four players, including defending champion Inbee Park, along with Mika Miyazato, Lee-Anne Pace and Suzann Pettersen.

On a day when players had to battle a bit of rain and wind, Lee and Kung both birdied the 18th to set the pace.

World No 1 Lydia Ko is sitting in a tie for 27th after she carded a one-under 71, the same as English teenager Charley Hull.

Ko had been one-over with three to play before the Kiwi picked up birdies at the 16th and 18th.

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An 11-year-old boy stunned Tiger Woods by holing the inaugural tee shot at a new golf course co-designed by the 14-time major winner.

Taylor Crozier achieved the feat on an 81-yard par-3 at The Playgrounds at Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas.

The fabulous achievement earned him a hug from Woods as well as a mention on Twitter from the former world No 1.

“First hole at The Playgrounds and this happened,” Woods tweeted, along with a video of the shot.

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Leven Links, home of the world’s oldest amateur tournament, has appointed a professional for the first time in its 170-year history in a bid to “put the club back on the golfing map”.

The bold move has realised a “lifelong dream” for the man who has taken up the post as Eric Walker cut his golfing teeth on the Fife course after becoming a junior member there at the age of seven.

“The appointment came about due to the two club captains and two forward-thinking guys, Ninian Heron and Alan Lee, pushing this to the members and showing them that this is the way forward for the Links,” said Walker.

“Leven is one of the finest links course in the country and is steeped in history, being the first course in the world to have 18 individual tees and greens as back in the 1800s courses were mainly 12 holes and had double greens.

“It’s also host to the world’s oldest amateur event, the Standard Life Gold Medal, and staged local Final Qualifying for The Open at St Andrews six times between 1978 and 2005.”

Walker was an assistant to Paul Wytrazek at Burntisland for 16 years and, more recently, had a spell head professional at Thornton. “I was a junior member here at seven-years-old and learnt my game here on the Links, so when I was given the opportunity to become its first and new professional, I grabbed it with both hands,” he added.

“Leven hasn’t been achieving its potential for years and my role as the head professional and the links main ambassador is to promote and market this great course.

Already I have increased member and visitor numbers and there’s a feelgood factor here now as we put Leven Links back on the golfing map.”

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Three players - Neil Henderson (Renaissance Club), Ross Munro (Duddingston) and Duncan Stewart (Turnhouse) - shared the scratch spoils in an Edinburgh & East of Scotland Alliance event at Falkirk Tryst.

Henderson also came close to claiming the overall prize, The Alliance Trophy, but was pipped by Harburn five-handicapper Robin Cockburn on a countback.

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English women’s champion Bronte Law is one of six top amateurs who have accepted invitations to the first Major championship of the season.

Law, the world No 4, will play in the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club, California, from March 28-April 3.

She has previously played in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, finishing 33rd in 2012.

“I’m very excited to be playing in my first major in the US,” said the 20-year-old from Cheshire.

“I know that it will be a great learning experience and something that will put me in a good position to further my goals of being on the LPGA.