Golf: European Tour puts two women on board

Sophie Goldschmidt: Recruited. Picture: Getty
Sophie Goldschmidt: Recruited. Picture: Getty
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THE wind of change blowing through the corridors of the European Tour’s headquarters at Wentworth has led to the appointment of two women as non-executive directors.

Jutta af Rosenborg, a financial expert who has worked for FTSE and Nasdaq-listed companies including Aberdeen Asset ­Management, and sports ­specialist Sophie Goldschmidt join on 1 January

The move is part of a “strategic review and board restructuring” implemented by David Williams after he succeeded Neil Coles as the Tour’s chairman under a year ago, since when it was announced that George O’Grady will be stepping down as chief executive once a successor for that post is selected.

Williams said: “I am delighted to welcome both Sophie Goldschmidt and Jutta af Rosenborg to the board. Their ­appointment as non-executive ­directors supports our strategy of broadening and increasing the skills and experience at the heart of the business at a time when golf is changing.”

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He believes Rosenborg will be able to “utilise her experience of managing complex stakeholder relationships”, while Goldschmidt brings a wealth of global sports experience.

Currently the Rugby Football Union’s chief commercial and marketing officer, she previously held senior roles with Adidas, the Women’s Tennis ­Association Tour and the National ­Basketball Association.

“Sophie’s experience in international sports and her proven ability to drive commercial ­success will be a huge asset for the Tour over the coming years,” added Williams.

“In Jutta, we have chosen a ­distinguished European businesswoman with extensive ­investment and financial experience. This will be invaluable to the successful delivery of our plans to develop The European Tour and to forging future sponsorship opportunities. I look forward to working with both Jutta and Sophie as we continue to build the profile and success of the European Tour.”

On the tournament front, Thailand-based Simon Yates fared best among four Scots in the inaugural Dubai Open as he opened with a one-under-par 71.

His effort at The Els Club, which was illuminated by a run of three birdies in four holes from the 13th, left him in a share of 24th as ­Australian Kalem ­Richardson set the pace with a 66. On a day when former Open champion Darren Clarke had a 72, Paul Doherty would have been higher up the field but for a triple-bogey 7 at the ninth in his 75.

Playing in his first-ever Tour event, former Duddingston assistant pro Tom Buchanan signed for a 77, as did Dunbar’s Danny Kay on his pro debut.

In Morocco, it was a disappointing second day for the Scottish contingent in the LET’s Lalla Aicha Qualifying School final as Kelsey Macdonald and Jane Turner failed to build on their encouraging starts.

Joint eighth at the start of the day at Samanah Al Maaden Golf Club, Macdonald slipped into a share of 20th after the 2010 Scottish Women’s champion followed a first-round 70 with a 74.

Turner, 15th after day one, dropped to 54th following a 77 to sit on four over alongside Heather MacRae (73-75) with Laura Murray now around 90th after a 73 – six shots better than her opening effort.

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