HAVING watched Charley Hull prove that age is no barrier in Europe’s recent historic first Solheim Cup success on US soil, the last captain to lead Scotland to victory in the Women’s Home Internationals is hoping a clutch of youngsters in the hosts’ team can be inspired by the English teenager at Scotscraig this week.
With the likes of Kelsey Macdonald, Laura Murray and Jane Turner having moved on to the paid ranks, Louise Kenney unavailable and Rachael Watton having returned to college in America, team captain Karen Marshall is leading a new-look Scottish side into battle in Fife today. It includes Scottish Girls’ champion Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies), who will be making her debut in the four-cornered event along with Heather Munro (Monifieth), Gabrielle MacDonald (Craigielaw) and Hannah McCook (Grantown-on-Spey), as well as Alyson McKechin and Lauren Whyte.
While McKechin won the Scottish Ladies’ Championship at Longniddry in May, the 20-year-old from Elderslie is still relatively inexperienced at this level, as is St Regulus teenager Whyte, leaving the Briggs sisters – Megan and Eilidh from Kilmacolm – as the closest the team has to seasoned campaigners. “Karen will probably know most of them from her captaincy at junior level and will therefore already have established a good relationship with them all from then,” said Lesley Nicholson, who led the Scots to the title at Whitchurch in Wales three years ago.
“In regards to the age of the team, it certainly didn’t hinder Charley Hull in the Solheim Cup, so inspiration can certainly be taken from the historical win a couple of weeks ago…as well as a Scot [Catriona Matthew] holing the winning putt!”
Scotland open their campaign today against Ireland while defending champions England face Wales.