Kelsey Macdonald only has eyes for Dubai triumph

Liz Young: bidding for first professional title. Picture: AP
Liz Young: bidding for first professional title. Picture: AP
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Nothing beats the power of positive thinking and Kelsey Macdonald only has one thing on her mind in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters this week.

“I’m here to win,” declared the Scot after carding a one-over-par 73 to sit seven shots off the pace in joint-42nd after the opening round at the Emirates Golf Club.

Lying 98th on the money-list heading into the final event of the LET season, Macdonald is facing a return to the Qualifying School in Morocco next week rather than heading home to Nairn to get ready for Christmas.

“I believe a top-20 finish this week would allow me to avoid a trip to the Tour School, but I’m not really thinking about that,” insisted the former Scottish women’s champion. “I’m here to chase the lead.”

Sharing that after opening six-under-par 66s are England’s Liz Young and Spaniard Carmen Alonso, though lurking ominously already is China’s Shanshan Feng.The defending champion and world No 6 opened with a five-under 67 to sit second, one ahead of England’s Laura Davies and another Spaniard, Elisa Serramia.

Young, who finished fifth in the same event 12 months ago, is bidding for her first professional title after a string of top-ten finishes, including another fifth place recently in India.

“I’m really pleased with today,” said the 33-year-old from Hampshire. “I’ve been practising a lot of 12-foot putts and it’s just the feeling of the ball going in the hole, working on your stroke,”

Pamela Pretswell finished the day as leading Scot in joint-33rd on 72, with Sally Watson and Carly Booth, who birdied her last three holes, sitting alongside Macdonald on one-over.

Vikki Laing opened with a 74 while Kylie Walker had a 79 - two more than internet sensation Paige Spiranac on her professional debut.