EAST Lothian duo Vikki Laing and Catriona Matthew gave themselves early-season confidence boosts by making their presence felt on leaderboards a long way from home over the weekend.
Laing finished second behind Australian amateur Minjee Lee in the Women’s Victoria Open, an effort that earned the 32-year-old Musselburgh woman around £12,000.
Matthew, meanwhile, boosted her career winnings by more than £60,000 after securing third spot in the Honda LPGA Thailand won by Swede Anna Nordqvist. Both the Scots went low in their final two rounds – Laing closing with scores of 66 and 67 for her ten-under-par total on the Beach course at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links while Matthew signed off with a pair of seven-under-par 65s at Siam Country Club in Chonburi.
Laing, who finished six shots behind Lee as the 17-year-old Australian Amateur champion underlined her potential, signed off last season by contending in the Dubai Ladies Masters and, on the back of this performance, looks set for an exciting 2014 campaign on the Ladies European Tour.
The same certainly goes for Matthew on the LPGA Tour, with those two eye-catching closing rounds – the North Berwick woman was ten shots behind Nordqvist after an opening 76 before finishing just four adrift – setting her up nicely for this week’s HSBC Champions event in Singapore.
One in front of her compatriot at the halfway stage in Thailand, Carly Booth finished 15 shots behind Matthew in joint-36th after closing efforts of 74 and 72.