Sweet-toothed Brooke Pancake says Nairn trip is icing on the cake
JUST two days after celebrating her 22nd birthday, there’s no danger of Brooke Pancake feeling flat when she steps on to the first tee at Nairn this morning.
The 37th Curtis Cup is Pancake’s swansong in the amateur game, the University of Alabama graduate having decided to take the plunge into the professional ranks as soon as she returns home to Chattanooga in Tennessee.
“I can’t think of a better way to finish my amateur career than by playing in a Curtis Cup in the home of golf,” she said on the eve of her debut in the biennial event.
It’s already been a trip to remember for Pancake, who will make one of her first apparances as a professional in next month’s US Women’s Open, having qualified for the event at Blackwolf Run.
“I celebrated my 22nd birthday yesterday and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better place to be,” she added. “Everyone gave me cards and my caddie also gave me some local candy which was nice as I’ve got a sweet tooth.”
Inevitably, Pancake was asked about her name, which is up there along with Dicky Pride when it comes to the best ones in golf. She was honest enough to admit it wasn’t the first time she’d had to answer that one.
“I’m stuck with Pancake,” she said with a smile, before adding: “I think my name is German, but there’s a bit of Scandinavian in my family line and some Irish as well.”
There are other Pancakes in the US sporting arena, though not directly related. “Tony Pancake is the teaching professional at Crooked Stick and Joey Pancake is a baseball player for South Carolina,” she revealed.
The American team played at Carnoustie before heading to Nairn. They’ve also fitted in some sightseeting, including a visit to a nearby castle as well as a trip to Loch Ness. “We’ve come from 90-100F to this but we’ve played in snow and rain back home in the past,” said Pancake when asked about the weather. “We expected it to be worse, so it’s been fairly pleasant the last few days.”
The American captain, Pat Cornett, played in the matches in 1978 and 1988, losing the latter at Royal St George’s. A medical doctor, she reckons that having two teenage daughters has prepared her well for this week’s challenge.
“I’m laid back but know when to turn it up,” she said. Has she needed to do that yet? “Not at all,” she added. “They are all fantastic.”
Cornett has sought advice from a number of former US Curtis Cup captains. She’s also chatted with Jim Holtgrieve, the losing American captain in last year’s Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen.
“I’ve had a few chats with Jim, who also sent me a long and lovely letter,” she revealed. “The conditions for the Americans at Royal Aberdeen were extremely challenging and we chatted a bit about the strategies to face the challenges over here.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
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