Former tennis prospect Pretswell set to serve GB&I in Curtis Cup

PAMELA Pretswell played tennis as a junior for Scotland and once took part in a demonstration with the Great Britain junior team on Number One court at Wimbledon. Yet, as the grass court season gets into full swing this week at Queen's Club and Birmingham, the 21-year-old from Hamilton will have a golf club in her hands when she enjoys the highlight of her sporting life to date.

One of two Scots in the Great Britain & Ireland team taking on the Americans in the 36th Curtis Cup, a three-day match that starts tomorrow at Essex Country Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, Pretswell turned to golf just seven years ago after tennis had threatened to take over her life, and she is adamant that she made the right decision.

Studying business and management, she's a year away from securing an honours degree at Glasgow University and has no regrets that the coaching sessions she once took part in under the watchful eye of Judy Murray, Andy's mum, haven't paved the way for that career highlight to come instead at SW19, Roland Garros, Melbourne Park or Flushing Meadow.

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"Judy Murray used to take us to tournaments and was also involved in Scottish training squads," recalled Pretswell. "Andy and his brother (Jamie] were around at the time and I always remember they had a good work ethic, something I've tried to follow myself. I played for Scotland and the Great Britain junior team but I stopped playing because I was too busy with the tennis and, within a few weeks, I had started to play golf."

A member at Bothwell Castle, where she plays off plus three, Pretswell was surprised by the high standard she encountered in golf when making her first appearance in the Scottish Girls' Championship. However, she took just four years to break into the Scotland team and, helped by a win in the 2008 Swiss Open Amateur Championship, secured her first GB&I cap in last year's Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe.

Having also finished third in the St Rule Trophy and fourth in the European Individual Championship, as well as reaching the last 16 of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship, Mary McKenna, the GB&I captain, and her fellow selectors didn't mind too much that Pretswell was unable to play in some of the bigger events earlier this year due to university work, finding a place for her in the eight-strong side along with Sally Watson of Elie & Earlsferry Ladies.

"I've never played in America, so it should be good – a nice challenge," said Pretswell. "We know the Americans are good but we also have to remember that we are good as well. Helped by the fact we've had a week's practice over here, I feel we can definitely win. We've got a good team and will certainly be giving it our best shot."